The tree mover has been here with his big
tree spade last week for two days, and again on Monday from noon till 8 p.m. This is a very efficient way of moving a tree. Digging by hand would take an eternity to move all those trees. With this rig he is able to move an average of three spruce trees in a hour from our nursery field to the neighbours' yards. Three of the neighbours in our vicinity have bought anywhere from 35 trees to 76 trees. We sell them for $50 each and the buyer pays the tree mover.
Here's a close up of the spruce tree in the
spade. There are four "arms", two on top, and two on the bottom. At the lower end of each arm is a spade point. In this picture the whole back spade has been raised so that it's almost horizontal. To dig up a tree, the spade is turned so that it's vertical. When the spade points are up, there is a hollow space in the center that can be placed over the tree. The spade points are then lowered hydraulically and come together under the center of the tree, and far enough down to preserve most of the root system. The arms, with the tree held securely, are then raised as you see here, and the truck drives off to wherever the tree needs to be planted. Of course, the driver has first dug a hole to receive the tree. When he plants this tree, he digs the next hole, takes that plug of soil back to the field and dumps it into the hole where the tree was. Then he's ready to dig the next tree, and move it to the hole he's just made. Back and forth, back and forth he goes, and at the end of the day there's a lovely row of Colorado Blue Spruce, each about 5 feet tall.
The next step is to carefully fill the edges left around the plug of tree and roots, stamp it all down well, so the tree doesn't tip over, and water it in. Be sure to water it well at least once a week the first year. After that it should be good to go.
If the weather is better later on this week, I'll take a picture of one of the nice rows of newly planted spruce. Most people tend to plant trees to close to each other, not taking into account how large they will eventually be. We recommend that these spruce be planted on 40' center to center to allow them to grow to a full, natural shape. A good arrangement for a windbreak is to plant three rows of spruce, on an alternating pattern, so that the middle row is planted diagonally between the first and last rows.