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Thread: Landscaping With Trees

  1. #1

    Default Landscaping With Trees

    Hello! I moved to Alaska last fall and this summer have intended to start a garden. But along with the garden I've also decided I would really love to plant some trees. I did some research and I'm starting from seed Quaking Aspen, Colorado Blue Spruce, and Sugar Maple. I live in zone 4.

    I'm starting them indoors. I scarified all of them, and have begun stratification on the sugar maple. But I had a few questions for those of you with experience planting trees in Alaska.

    With such short summers and such harsh winters, when is the ideal time to plant trees? I was thinking of raising them indoors for a year and then planting them next spring- would that be ideal?

    How do you keep multiple trees inside and still suffice each with enough light to thrive?

    At what point do you know the tree can be planted outside and it will make it through the winter? Does it reach a certain hieght or density that it can be burried in snow and still live?

    I would also appreciate any other tips. I live in the more "swampy" part of the bush, but I live on a hill to where it's fairly well drained yet still moist. From what I've read all three of these trees can thrive in a zone 4- and in wet soil. But I would like any extra tips that could help them get past the first few years a little easier.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
    Member garnede's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    soon to be back in Alaska


    Plant them outdoors as soon as the ground thaws. The trees stand a better chance of survival if they are put into a natural environment as soon as possible, after all that is what they were intended to grow in. They will thrive better in a natural soil and sunlight than in the artificial light of indoors. If you let them live for another year indoors then they will be weakened by the artificial light and not being exposed to the elements. Even if you leave them in a window sill they will grow bent towards the window. Give them 1" of water per week for the first year and water heavily just before the first frost. Be sure to cage the trees or in some way protect them from moose and other critters that will eat them to the ground.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

  3. #3


    Okay thanks so much. Is there anything I should do or precautions I should take to ensure they make it through the first winter okay? I'm sure they'll be no higher than a foot by the first snow fall.

  4. #4


    You will want to protect them from moose as they like small trees and bushes most of all. Since you are in the bush and wire products is not as available as wood ,you could build like a tepee type cover it would not have to be solid just so they can't get their chompers on them.

  5. #5


    Okay thanks, I love the teepee idea. We don't have much of a problem with moose coming near the town out here. They're well aware that coming into a town of hungry Eskimos is never going to end well. On the other hand I know the rabbits are bound to get into mischeif with my yummy trees, so I will use the teepee for protection from them.

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