Gene Logsdon: Transplanting Tree Seedlings


I have a hunch that readers thought I was joking when I wrote about growing tree seedlings in roof gutters. The picture above proves that it works. I thought by now (late summer) the seedlings would have died for lack of water, but we’ve had regular rain so now I can transplant some of those seedlings this fall if not next spring. I can just lift the plants out of the gutter and plop them, roots and leaf mold intact, in a hole in the ground. Ever since a reader, Ohiofarmgirl, called a broadcast seeder “one of those hand-cranked thingies” on her website, I have been thinking of putting together a catalog of farming and gardening  oddities with similar descriptions: sections of roof spouting I would label as “roof whatchamacallits for starting plants.”

There are weeds growing amid the tree seedlings up there in the gutter too, as you might notice. The trees are mostly maple, ash and elm seedlings which gives me an excuse to go into one of my favorite rants. The experts all tell me that I can kiss white ash trees goodbye because the emerald ash borer is killing them. Yes, the old ashes are all dying, but my woodlot is full of seedlings, just coming up wherever sufficient sunlight penetrates the tree canopy or, as you can see, on the barn roof. I argue that when the ash borer has killed off the older trees, it will run out of food and die off too, before these seedlings get old enough for them to kill. A whole new generation of ash trees will come along. Ash trees start producing seed when they are mere saplings…

All of which underlines a truth or two…

Read the rest over at The Contrary Farmer, and find out how Mama Nature taught Gene to grow trees the easy way…

Gene Logsdon’s racily-titled Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind, may not be safe for public radio, but it’s an excellent and entertaining intro to our urgent need to find ways to live in harmony with our poop. Check it out in our bookstore!

Read The Book

Holy Shit

Managing Manure to Save Mankind


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