My methods of heeling in newly collected trees

The following is how I prepare newly collected trees to succeed in survival and regrow new roots

I use a layer of fish compost (fir bark composted with fish offal) which has an NPK of 1-1-1 but is always at 1-1-1 due to aerobic bacteria breaking down the carbon in the mulch. The mulch also contains available iron, calcium and other micro elements. I put down a ground cloth that is permeable first and then add the compost then place the newly collected tree on top of the mulch.

IMG_1277I carefully cut away the shrink wrapping from the root ball trying to keep all the soil intact as much as possible

IMG_1278I twist the rootball into the mulch to help remove any air pockets.

IMG_1280Filling in under neath – no air pockets

IMG_1288Adding mulch along the sides and placing 2 to 3 inches on the top of the trees.


All done – these trees will be left alone all of this year and all of 2014. What happens now is that roots will start to grow into the fish compost mostly fine feeder roots. Depending on where I collected the trees my survival rates is 100% on bedrock collected trees and  75% or more on bog collected trees (bog trees have a limited root system)


1 thought on “My methods of heeling in newly collected trees

  1. Interesting. This is certainly less work than how I nurse my collected trees (I put them in pure perlite in wooden boxes). But I also probably collect much fewer trees than you!

    I hope you start posting your yamadori for sale online one day! I would love a nice collected shore pine (I hear they do pretty well in my climate).

    Greetings from Toronto

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