Norway planting, plugs and potted liners?

shawnv

5 year old buck +
I intend to scatter plant a couple acres of Norway Spruce in a field that is now mostly grasses/weeds and I've considered buying all of the super potted liners from vanspines (http://www.vanspinesnursery.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/July-2014-Catalogue2.pdf) since they might compete better with the grasses.

For those of you have planted a lot in the past, is mowing once and spraying sufficient for plugs or do you constantly maintain the field the first couple of years? What did you see by year 2,3,4,5...and on for growth? I really do not want to deplete the cover by having to keep this mowed all year long so again, the larger trees in the potted liners is what I'm leaning towards.

Also, I am going to clear cut 3-4 acres and do you think the trees planted from the super potted liners would do well enough to complete with the other shoots?
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I've planted Norways for about 20 yrs. Most were planted in cut-over areas or in fields with no mowing or spraying. The ones I planted in mowed areas that I sprayed with Roundup
( only in a circle where the tree was gonna be planted ) did much better than ones planted in high grass. Less competition for nutrients that way. Depending on where you are located and what your deer density is, you may have to protect them with 3 ft. tall welded wire fence for the first 4-5 yrs. I start sprinkling 10-10-10 around my spruce the 2nd year in the ground and do that every spring from year 2 to year 6 or 7. Then I stop the fert. By then the spruce are established enough to take off and they are typically 6 to 8 ft. tall. Each year, if weeds start encroaching, I spray a little Roundup ( carefully )around the spruce to keep the weeds down. I don't let the spray get on the spruce. You could also put weed barrier down if you don't have tons of trees to plant. I just go with a little shot of spray. I don't mow & maintain the whole field - just the immediate area around each tree. Good luck with the planting.

Edit - The presence of tall grass & weedy plants makes for a better bedding area. Spruce mixed into an area like that, along with some shrubs native to your locality would be some good habitat. I'm not familiar with the super potted liners you mentioned, so I can't comment.
 
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