The City will once again be handing out free seedlings as a part of its annual Arbor Day event, "Tree Time," which will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Andover City Hall Complex. The tree species to be handed out include Red Pine (Pinus resinosa), White Spruce (Picea glauca), Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and Pin Cherry (Prunus pensylvanica). Staff wanted to give you some tips to help give your seedlings a better chance of surviving and developing into mature, healthy plants.
  • Bring a bag, wet towel, etc. to wrap around the roots of the seedlings when you pick them up. It's important to keep those roots moist. If they dry out, the tree will probably not survive.
  • Do not soak the roots in water for extended periods of time. Contrary to popular belief, this may actually kill the tree.
  • Prepare to plant them immediately after returning home. Have the site picked out before coming to pick them up and have the holes dug (if possible). See "Planting Location Considerations" below on this page, for more important information.
  • Keep them watered! Water them 2 to 3 times a week with a slow trickle from a garden hose for 3 to 5 minutes per tree. If there is adequate precipitation (rainfall), they don't need that much watering.
Planting Suggestions
Instructions on how to plant the trees will be available when you pick up the seedlings. To help give your seedlings a boost for the 1st year or 2 , you may want to consider planting them in 2 to 5 gallon pots that have soils containing plenty of organic material. This will allow you to move the seedlings, will avoid over competition and will help protect them from being damaged by deer, rabbits, rodents, etc.

The seedlings should be kept outside at all times and be kept in full to partial sunlight. After that 1st year or 2 in pots, remove the root balls from the containers and plant the trees where desired.

Planting Location Considerations

  • Keep all trees out of easements or those needed for access.
  • Do not plant trees under power lines, unless they are a species suitable for such a planting.
  • Call Gopher State One before you dig to check for underground utilities.
Ongoing Maintenance
  • Water is the most important maintenance activity. Water the trees at least 2 times a week if there is insufficient precipitation for the 1st couple years. A slow trickle with a garden hose for 3 to 5 minutes per tree should suffice.
  • Spread mulch around the base of the trees. This will help maintain soil moisture, provide important nutrients, improve soil structure and prevent competition from turfgrass. Keep the mulch at least a few inches from the main stem of the tree.
  • If there is potential of damage from wildlife, tree protection should be considered. This could be in the form of wire fencing or plastic tubing.