Please help with a collection question for ponderosa pines

I received as a Thanksgiving gift these ponderosa pines collected by my landscaper, who obtained a permit to collect, in the Flagstaff national forest. He collected using his landscaper’s knowledge and obtained most of the root ball and placed and packed each tree into a plastic container. The pot was filled with dirt up to the first internode, but the root ball is only taking up the bottom third of the container. He then used super thrive and watered for a week and dropped them off.

The question I need help with is:

Should I place them in my backyard until spring and then transfer them to a wooden box with pumice or do it now or something else?? I do not have access to a greenhouse.

The trees were collected at 7,500 feet and I live in Prescott AZ elevation is 5,000 feet with winter temperatures from an average of lows of 20 at night to highs of 50s daytime.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

![2|640x480](upload://pYn3 Nzdzp7HUnIfLS![3|640x480]

1 Like


1 Like

Very nice trees. I need a landscaper like that!

1 Like

I had the same thought!!
These are nice.
Go slow.
My concerns would be disturbing the roots again and further stressing the tree, and over watering them, given the amount of soil and the depth of the container.

Thanks advice taken and makes sense

What about gently removing the excess soil that is above the root mass? That would improve air and water exchange without disturbing the roots. If the soil is heavy they might also benefit from drilling a bunch of small holes in the plastic pot to improve air access. These are thoughts and not based upon experience.

Since it’s only been a couple of weeks since collection I would be inclined to remove all the dirt down to the top of the root mass. Assuming that he didn’t mess with the original rootball I would lift it out of the container and let his added dirt fall away, then put it back into the nursery pot and fill in around the rootball with pumice (just to the top of the original rootball), leaving the original rootball with the original field soil undisturbed. You should cut the container down to just above the rootball. You will want to secure the tree into the container so that it won’t move or wiggle around. Any time you have a collected piece such as this you want to put it into the smallest possible pot. Ideally you would want to give it some protection this winter if you can.

1 Like

Good advice from the above replies. Be gentle but get them secured. That’s probably more important than the soil right now. If you can’t do that you may consider heeling them in to pine shaving and letting them sit for a year. I’d listen to the randy knight stream if you can. There’s some great info there.

I took the advice and removed all soil down to root ball and back filled with pumice. The soil was hard as a rock but now the water is flowing and trees secure in potsimage|375x500

1 Like