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I would like to plant a bunch of trees (hundreds) on a piece of dry farm high on a bench in Petersboro. The soil is clayish and watering is limited to hauling only. Can you recommend a tree or two that would be easy to start and would be fairly maintenance free once established. Any thing that will survive.

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For the trees to survive, you have a challenge.  The best time to plant would be in late fall or early spring to take advantage of natural precipitation.  Native trees such as juniper would be among the easiest to have survive.  However, no matter what is planted, it will take up to two years for the trees to fully establish.  This means you watering periodically for up to two years. 

What you plant to use the property for also dictates what you will want to plant.  Native junipers would mimic what is already growing locally in wild lands.  However, if you are willing to take care of them, trees such as hackberry and bur oak are very drought tolerant once established. Even though they are commonly used, cottonwoods and poplars should be used with caution.  Over time, they can cause more problems than they are worth.

I would also consider soil tests.  They can be performed by the USU soil lab relatively inexpensively.

Posted on 15 Jul 2009

Taun Beddes
Horticulture Agent, Cache County

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