Yesterday, we got up bright and early, drove over to my mother-in-law’s house, mowed the yard there, came back home, dropped off the lawnmower, and then made two trips down to the nursery where we picked up our new babies. No, not human babies. Baby trees. Well, two trees and one shrub, technically. 🙂
We’re slowly landscaping the yard. Slowly because we are doing it all ourselves, and also because my husband and I hardly ever have time to work on the big stuff together due to our work schedules. A couple of days ago we finally the hole dug in the front yard for one of the trees we picked out, and decided it was time to pick them all up. They’ve been paid for for about a month and the super wonderful people at the local nursery had been taking care of them for us until we were ready.
The first trip yielded two trees, both put in the back of the vehicle. I had to drive with the back open (is it still a trunk on an SUV??), but we live close, so no worries there. We unloaded said trees in the driveway and headed back. The third tree was trickier.
The front yard tree is a Weeping Blue Cedar, in what they call a Serpentine shape. They are really cool looking. The trunks are wrapped in wire when they are saplings and manipulated into the ‘S’ shape, or even in spiral shapes, and the long evergreen needles drape down. This #%$@!* was planted in an Enormous pot. E-Nor-Mous. The first thing we thought was “We’re going to need a bigger hole.”, and the first thing the guy said was “I know what you’re thinking and the root ball is not as big as that pot.” That was a bit of relief. Only a bit.
He got his two young whipper-snapper helpers, and the trio leaned the tree over and began digging out the root ball. Once it was free, they loaded it onto a forklift (no joke) got it over to the vehicle and proceeded to load the thing horizontally. I was able to shut the back door, but Tim had to sit beside it on the folded over seat because the top of the tree was wrapped around the front passenger seat.
Our first difficulty came in getting the #$@!%^$ tree out of the car. We had an old throw rug under it so we did use that to pull it out, which wasn’t easy as we had to keep it as level as possible. Once it was out, we adjusted our original hole by about five inches, taking it from 19″ wide to 24″. Thankfully, we had made it deep enough as the woman who has been helping us told us how deep it needed to be. The second difficulty was getting the cedar from the driveway to the hole in the front yard. Again, that rug came in handy as we figured out we could drag it. And here’s where we were complete idiots.
Keep in mind that neither me nor my husband has ever planted a tree, except for those teensy-weensy pine tree saplings you plant for earth day or something when you’re like 10, during a school outing. I knew it only needed to planted to the top of the root bulb, not over, and we were further instructed to leave the burlap wrapping, but to cut the strings. So we get the scissors and I’m sitting next to this thing, cutting the strings and going one stupid step further and peeling them away from the roots. We managed to scoot it to the hole and drop it in. Wouldn’t you know, the damn thing is now perpendicular to the house, which means it hitting the front porch. No big deal, just turn it, right? Well, it would have been less of an ordeal if we hadn’t removed the strings. It weighs a freakin’ ton and we can’t lift it back out and the burlap is tearing and disintegrating wherever we grab it. I could get my hands under one side of it, which kinda, sorta, barely helped. It took ten minutes but we managed to turn the tree.
The other two trees were in much smaller pots, one of which I could easily carry. We dug two holes in the backyard, popped those suckers out and into the ground. After spending about 5 hours outdoors getting completely filthy and sweaty, I then showered and after a quick lunch with my husband, went to work. I am getting a start on a tan I wouldn’t normally have, so that’s pretty nice, though my face still feels warm today. We members of the pale club shouldn’t spend from 8:30-1:30 in full sunlight.
I’ve got some before/after pics. The before ones are a couple of months old, as indicated by the time stamp. I finally figured out how to get that to go away on our new camera. I hate having the date blasted across the front of my photos.
So our lessons learned are if you are planting something big and heavy with rope wrapped around a root ball, for the love of all things, don’t cut the strings before it’s in the ground, and if you can pay someone else to do it, then do it.