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planting trees...ok in wet (soaked) ground?(5 posts)

planting trees...ok in wet (soaked) ground?JS Haiku Shop
Mar 18, 2002 6:09 AM
it's been raining, hard, constantly, here for about three days. we have trees waiting to be planted in the yard. is there any drawback to putting them into pretty wet ground?
I think it depends on how wet it really is.IAM
Mar 18, 2002 8:21 AM
If you dug the holes and they were full of standing water then
it's too wet. If you live in a low area near water then this is
possible. If you dig the holes and they are relatively dry then
it would be OK, if you plant trees when it's dry you have to
water them anyway.Unless your yard looks more like a pond the only
way to know how saturated the soil is, is to dig the holes.
My 02 anyway
Hey, I used to be the garden editor....cory
Mar 18, 2002 8:33 AM
...at the newspaper I work for. But we're in the desert, so we don't do rain--an inch is a pretty big deal in Reno.
The short answer is probably "Go ahead and plant." You're going to water the things heavily when they go into the ground anyway (and regularly for at least the first year, or you're just storing firewood), so some of the work is done for you already. The weather is likely to clear up over the next few weeks (depending on where you live--Charleston, S.C., gets more rain in an average July than Reno gets in an average YEAR) and you'll be fine.
Exceptions might be if the trees (you didn't say what kind) need lots of drainage, or if the ground is seriously waterlogged and stays that way. But if you're planting stuff that's suited to your climate and weather, it's not likely a few days of rain will hurt.
I'm serious about that regular watering, by the way. Even desert plants like sagebrush and bitterbrush need water the first year.
Drawbacks? Yes!Brooks
Mar 18, 2002 9:41 AM
The biggest problem with planting in wet ground is destroying the air space in the backfill. A little soil science: Soil is made up of different sized particles, from clay (smallest) to sand (largest). You probably have a high silt/clay type of soil living where you do. The gaps between the particles (pore space) normally hold air and provide areas for the fine roots to go. Pore space is important as the roots interchange oxygen there. When the ground is wet (called field saturation) these pore spaces are filled with water that eventually drains out. When digging in the wet ground (that giant sucking sound), clay/silt soil easily compacts into glops (scientific term)of mud destroying the pore space. You are better off waiting until the ground is dry. Your trees will be fine if in containers or ball/burlap. If bareroot, keep moist newspaper wrapped around the roots.

Brooks
Landscape architect and arborist
THIS is what i was worried 'bout. thanks, all! nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 19, 2002 11:39 AM