Summoning A Forest 101: Tree Planting
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When I purchased land in the Mojave last yearI was dead serious about summoning a forest. While it has gone much slower than I had initially anticipated we have had much development and exciting updates!
Summoning a forest takes ritual patience.
Since I live a considerable distance from our future forest we have to be resilient with researching what species of trees to plant on our land. I was very adamant from the beginning that I only want to use indigenous plants to Southern California (and hopefully just the Mojave IF possible.) I want to build a healthy natural ecosystem that can withstand the Zone 11 that the land presides within. That means, serious drought. I’m talking annual rainfall under 7", brutal 90–110F heat, and freezing night temperatures.
SO when I learned from my USDA rep that the Antelope Valley Resource Conservation District was having their annual sale I realized that would be the best time to start planting!
Like pretty much any project, you go in with lots of ideas and dreams! As the project starts to happen, you work with what’s available. There were a delicious amount of trees and shrubs to choose from, but being a stickler to adhere to Mojave and Southern California plants I purchased great dealless trees than I had originally thought I would!
These plants were purchased with album sales!
Hail Satan for Calscape and Calflora! With both databases I was easily able to identify plants and double/triple check they were indigenous to Southern California and could handle the brutal Mojave conditions.
Our final checkout was:
2 desert willows (Chilopsis linearis)
2 desert olive trees (Forestiera pubescens)
1 quailbush (Atriplex lentiformis)
1 apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa)
2 desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
With our first set of trees purchased we drove back to the land and started solving some long term problems like: Where do we want shade? How are we going to irrigate these through the first year? Second Year?
We started planting in the early afternoon and stopped when the sun dipped over the western horizon.