Survival of this years seedlings. Bareroot vs plugs, Noble vs Nordmann

Hello rob here from the flanigan Homestead out at the east fork christmas Tree farms checking on my trees Specifically the seedlings and see how They’re doing Uh The ones that we planted this year or Actually some of them last fall and make Some observations and i have some Questions that i don’t have answers for Maybe you do but here’s what’s going on So Right behind me there’s a bunch of noble Furs that we planted and normally Nobles are the trees that i have the Hardest time Surviving through a hot summer but um we Changed to fall planting Uh of plugs last year there are smaller Trees and there’s not a ton of root but Uh we’ve learned that you know there’s a Significant amount of root growth in October and november if you can get a Plug and put it in the ground That’s a very rainy season but not super Wet ours is not super cold yet for us Here and then the roots Will grow some more and the soil will Get packed in so that we get some pretty Good Root growth and so we we tried that this Year hoping that we would have some good Growth this year and of the What we plant 1500 nobles this year

I would say It’s amazingly as hot as it’s been this Summer we’ve got probably a 90 percent Survival rate on our nobles right now They’re doing great is it just because The fall plug planting i don’t know we Did a better job of keeping the weeds Down they’re growing up right now but Had a late surge but for the most part The weeds were down so the competition For moisture wasn’t there So i was really concerned because it’s Been a very hot summer not that one Extreme weekend like we had Last year where as 117 degrees which was 12 degrees hotter than it’s ever been on This farm But We’ve had normally we have 11 11 days 90 degrees or above here in Western washington we’ve had 33 so far This year and there’s more coming this Weekend so i’m really pleased with all The green little nobles that we still Have some of the needles are starting to Get a little bit dry and they may you Know sometimes just like when you cut a Christmas tree down and you put in your House they still look green for a while And some of these needles are drying out And we may actually see the browning Later on i hope not but they’re doing Really well On the other end of it are normans which

We’re trying to do more and more Nordman’s the the ones that we’ve Planted in the past have been fantastic Usually they handle the heat better They’re disease resistant aphid Resistant and we don’t do Pretty much hardly any spraying on the Tree itself because they just grow They’re a little bit harder to shear in My opinion not too much but a little bit Harder to share And so we’ve been trying to go more Normans so we put a thousand ornaments In in that section over there and i just Walked down the row And i saw I just counted 35 in a row and there was 15 alive and 20 dead so at In that section You know and that was a fairly small Sample of a thousand trees but you know In that section that’s lefty less than 50 survival which uh But that we couldn’t get uh plugs so we Planted bare root in the spring now is That it um but not only was this the Longest Hottest summer that i can remember but It was also one of the coldest wettest Springs and so nordman furs are supposed To be really good in the heat but i’m Wondering and a lot of these that died We noticed they’re dying really early Like way back in july

Right after the rainy season ended they Could have died and then uh Actually been dead but then dried out as It got hotter but it just rained and Rained and rained and was cold this Spring and i was kind of happy for my Trees i thought hey you know That that’ll be good to get them all Rooted in and it seemed to be good for The nobles and so we got the heat but we Didn’t get it until uh the growth was Done and they’re pretty much setting and Going dormant and so i think that have Helped the nobles and so i’m wondering And i don’t know maybe you have the Answer for this because i’m real we’ve Harvested nordman’s but we haven’t had Nearly the quantity of nordman’s that We’ve had nobles and grands and dougs But uh May uh they’re they’re supposed to Handle the heat better but i’m wondering If the super wet spring The roots were too wet for too long Because they are used to a drier climate And they just couldn’t handle the wet Spring so we’ve had two extremes in one Year we went for several months where we Didn’t it just rained most days we it Went several months until we had a Three-day span that we didn’t have Measurable rainfall because it was just Raining non-stop Put a lot of snow in the mountains it

Was cool and then It just when it stopped raining it Stopped raining we haven’t had a Measurable rainfall Since When was about mid july And so you know everybody thinks of Western washington being really wet and It is but The summers are pretty dry but this Summer’s been extreme i mean it just Completely shut us off and so Anyway that’s an update uh Um on how things are going if you have Any suggestions i’m just Sharing with other people what we have Going on here The larger nobles held on really good For quite a while And then they are starting to get some Of the browning of the needles so i have Some you know eight foot nobles that Would be you know we open the lot And uh People are that we open up the farm for You cut and people come out and these Are trees that would be gone first day And uh there’s some definite browning Coming on those needles which is Unfortunate so people probably won’t Want them this year but uh That’s the farming game i’ve always said You know Christmas tree farming is a little bit

Different you know weather changes and Whatnot and if you’re a potato farmer or Corn or whatever if you have a bad Bad weather that year you know you have A bad year then you you go on and and Then hopefully the next year is good but If you’re a christmas tree farmer you Know you need seven or eight years Uh that the trees can handle the weather And so Usually uh they’re ready for this uh General climate But the first couple years especially For nobles you get them past two years Old then i usually think they’re going To keep going but With the heat we’ve had it’s it’s been a Little bit rough uh Christmas tree farming in western Washington oregon has always been a dry Land farming meaning nobody irrigates Nobody you know uh there’s usually Plenty of moisture through uh early july And then the trees are starting to go Dormant but The way it’s been the last couple years A lot of people out here are trying to Figure out ways to irrigate we do not Have the water supply to do that here So Anyway we’ll just have to figure out i Know drip irrigation wouldn’t take a Whole lot i might do some experiment With just uh putting some bottles upside

Down next year on a few plants and Burying the end in there and then just Filling those up and then they’ll just Slowly seep into the ground over time I’ve done with that some other types of Plants and It seems to really help so If a small scale works then maybe we’ll Try it on a larger scale Anyway thanks for joining me on the Flanigan homestead where christmas trees Are my business teaching cleaning Horticulture is my job and outdoor Projects are my passion be blessed Everyone Hope to see you again soon

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