Written by Mary
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“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
When we purchased our home in north Phoenix over five years ago, there were several horse trailers parked across from our front yard as our home is adjacent to a large horse ranch. Over the years, these trailers have become a source of increasing displeasure to me….
while the northern view from our home frames lovely saguaros and Black Mountain in the distance (show shot?);
the boxy white trailers in the southern vista are decidedly unattractive (IMHO).
I recently sought permission from the ranch to plant trees on the edge of the property line as an attempt to camouflage (somewhat) the trailers; with the understandable caveat that no plant be toxic to horses.
The project initially was to be a few Palo Verde trees that we’d plant ourselves (Sonoran Emerald was the plant we’d selected ) …. And that we’d water occasionally during the hot summer months. Then we decided to visit a local nursery to price out the project, and soon opted to have the nursery plant them.
Mary and the landscaper surveying the area where the trees and shrubs will be planted.
The landscaper used surveying “flags” to mark ares where either trees or shrubs would be planted.
The nursery rep visited the property and recommended eight trees and the use of approximately 18 Hop Seed bushes (Dodonaea viscosa) to provide more immediate screening over the next few years before the Palo Verde trees matured. He also recommended that irrigation be installed to eliminate the time-consuming watering of both the bushes and trees.
The day of planting arrived and the nursery workers quickly went to work; the project (including irrigation) took an entire day. As we watched the planting, we realized that the package will require irrigation every three days now (in the winter); more frequently in the hotter months. As we must manually hook up a hose and cross the street to attach it to the new line; the reality of this obligation hit home. Over the next few months we must now explore an alternate option to connect this area into our main irrigation line.
The planting began by clearing areas where each tree and/or shrub was going to reside.
The workers dug each hole with a shovel and pick ax. The pick ax was used primarily for digging the irrigation ditch.
Workers carefully removed each plant from the delivery truck and placed it near an appropriate “flag.”
Ideally, planting holes need to be two-to-three times the size of the planting ball. This is not the case when professional landscapers do the planting.
Here is one picture of the outline of the irrigation path.
Above is a picture of trees near the planting flags.
Another picture of the irrigation “canal” as it is being dug.
Unrolling the irrigation main line can be “tricky” as it has a potential to twist as it is unrolled.
At this point, tubing had to be run down a ditch and up the other side. We will probably have to place some landscape rocks on top to prevent water runoff from uncovering the tubing.
Each tree had two emitters placed on different sides of the tree.
After a long day, the workers put the finishing touches on the project and shifted the care to us!
Gardening on the Moon, www.gardeningonthemoon.com, originally published this post