Planting smarter this year


My husband Rex and I are tree farmers. Previously we described how last year’s warm-and-dry summer took a toll on the seedlings we planted a year ago on our forest acreage near Forest Grove.

Dead seedlings everywhere.

In February we replaced them with new Douglas-fir seedlings. With the weather already warmer and drier than usual, we took extra precautions to ensure they live and thrive. We used tree mats – square piece of landscape fabric with a slit in the middle. The mat prevents weeds around the tree while holding moisture in the soil. Each corner is secured to the ground with garden staples.

While we only had about 75 trees to plant, my husband, Rex, had to plant them himself; I was out with a back injury. Hopefully no planting will be required next winter!

Tree farming is satisfying for both of us, but it’s not risk-free – far from it. Between the deer that nibble on seedlings, the chance that fire will sweep through our tree farm, and then the vagaries of weather, we have to actively manage our farm. It takes work.

Kathy Storm
OFRI business manager


9755 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 210        
Portland, OR 97225        
Phone: 971-673-2944        
Fax: 971-673-2946

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