By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties
Tree planting season is upon us. Once the deep freeze departs western Oregon woodland owners will be heading out, shovels and seedlings in hand, to plant the next generation of forests. The saying “green side up” implies that tree planting isn’t rocket science; but inevitably, come late summer some people will return their planting sites to find that their trees didn’t fare so well. Weather and other uncontrollable factors cause seedling mortality some years more than others. But, it’s also easy to unintentionally harm your trees before they even get in the ground. So before you go to a seedling sale this year to pick up a few trees, here are some common cases of seedling abuse and how to avoid perpetrating them.