You see the title of this post, but I should add on to it. It should be “How to get Trees for Free… with Patience”
(Also I’m sorry for the lack of posts lately. May was crazy and June has been a lot of catch up from May… I’ll try and keep up throughout the summer)
I could make this ultra simple and say, just dig ’em up and move them where you want them. But lets call that the First way to get trees for Free. The more roots you can dig up and take with the tree, AND the less amount of time the roots are exposed to the air, the better your chance of success. This is how we have moved dotted some Spruce trees around the more landscaped areas of my parent’s place.
2nd way: Dig up (or if the ground is light and loose, you can pull up), suckers from trees. That is what I have done with these May Day trees (above). They had some decent roots on them, and I put them into some soil in 1 gallon pots. I’ll give them a few weeks to get rooted into the pots, and when they do, I’ll either pot them up into 2 gallon pots and protect them in the pots over winter, OR I’ll plant them out and let them take their chances surviving winter where they will (hopefully) live for good.
3rd way: Find tiny little trees sprouting in your flowerbeds, and gently dig them out and put them into pots similar to the second way. You’ll see the little Spruce seedlings I’ve found in the photos below. I’ve also started collecting some of the baby crab apples that have been very prolific this year, but I didn’t get any decent photos of them for this post.
4th way: grab some willow cuttings and stick them in water. They will make roots and you can put them into soil… either straight to where you want them, or into pots with potting soil. No photos for this one, but try it. Its a great way to grow something easily.
5th way: find someone removing *YOUNG* trees from their yard and offer to take them off their hands.
6th way: From seed… This is the one that needs the most patience. Different types of trees have different germination requirements. Some easy, some more intense. Just do some googling before you start. You’ll see two of the Apple trees I started from seed over the winter in the photos below.
The key to “free” trees is patience and time… and knowing that they may not all survive. I’m of the mind-set of just trying it and seeing if it lives, and you’ll probably learn something along the way.
Also… I will have updates on all the fruit (and other) trees I was telling you about earlier this spring coming very very soon.