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I have purchased a few acres in summit county at about 9500 feet elevation. The property is in the middle of a meadow, with no natural trees. I would like to plant some evergreen seedlings. Will they grow? I am wondering why the meadow would not already have these types of trees, if they would in fact grow there. Can you recommend the best type of tree for success, or am I better off saving my money? There are evergreens growing all around the meadow a few hundred yards away. Thanks.

Answer(s)

A

Doug,  You are asking the right question - why are there no trees there now? If trees haven't been removed some time in the past (i.e. it is a natural meadow), then the most likely cause is that the site is a little drier than a tree needs (trees need above about 18 inches or more of precip a year, & much of that needs to come in the growing season; spruces & firs need more like a minimum of 25 inches a year).

Ironically, the site also could be too wet. If the area is water-logged or soupy most trees won't survive.

So, if the site is a little too dry in summer, all you have to do is irrigate. You could plant junipers (toughest and best), Douglas-fir, Engelmann or blue spruce, or white or subalpine fir (least tough).

Until the trees get up in height you might need to fence them to protect from deer damage.

Posted on 9 Jan 2008

Michael Kuhns
Forestry Specialist

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