Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wagmore Farm: Trees! Bring Me Trees!

In my earlier post, I shared the reason I suddenly want to forest a good portion of Wagmore.  Once the decision to plant The Bloody Great Forest was made I entered what I shall now call "The Great Tree Quest."

The stuff to figure out includes:
1- What kind of trees work best for our needs
2 - Where to get affordable trees
3 - How to convince The Husband and My Dad to get the trees in the ground.

Step 1 - What Trees to Choose?

Clearly, a key decision.  We need trees that do well in the climate, grow quickly, remain full year round, and will grow together as a screen.

I, of course, started on the internet by searching for screen tree ideas.  Once I had enough information to be dangerous, I started to talk to people.  I learned that tree people really like to talk about trees (which is both unsurprising and lucky for me), that cedar trees make a great screen, and that cedar trees really like it in my part of Washington State (lucky me, again!).

One of these very helpful tree people has a very helpful website, with a great guide to screen trees.  This helped me decide that the Excelsa Cedar is the best screen tree for Wagmore.  We'll be putting these trees 6' off the fence line, spaced around 8' apart.  When the trees are mature they'll be very full and 30'-35' tall.  They also grow at about 2' a year once established, which will help us get a big screen quickly.

Since no Great Forest is made of just one type of tree, the second layer of trees will include Port Orford Cedars (which can reach 100' tall), Incense Cedars, and maybe some Western Red Cedars.  We'll place these in a second line, close together, and close to the other line of trees - to make our first line of defense very thick.

My goal is to create a dense, imposing forest.  Think Fangorn Forest from Lord of the Rings.  And I'd love some Ents, too.  But I realize that I'll likely have to settle for Corgis and Guinea Fowl as forest protection.

I want my screen to be this thick - and cedars will stay more full than these!
(many thanks to xedos4 / for use of the photo)

The next layers of trees will include Deodar Cedars, Hemlock, and various other evergreen and deciduous trees to make the Great Forest look natural.  Most of this layer of trees will be added in the spring - with more baby trees from the County seedling sale.

Overall, we anticipate adding 300+ more trees to Wagmore.  That's a lot of trees, so I'm continuing my quest to find them cheaply and get them in the ground.  More on that next time!


  1. It sounds like you have done your research! Does your part of Washington get enough rain to keep the babies going? How will you irrigate if not?

  2. Taryn - It's a good question. The trees should do fine once they're established, but they will require watering when during dry periods for the first year or 2. We're investigating options on this one. Thankfully it won't stop raining at Wagmore for 5+ months, so we have some time to plan. We hope to get something installed in late spring.

  3. Great to see plans going ahead for Fort Wagmore. I made some mockups of the final thing. Haven't managed to add the Howitzers or the moat yet, but I hope you like?

    Seriously, awesome effort to a crappy situation. Saving polar bears and your privacy :-)

    Any chance of a treehouse down the line? Perhaps with a souped-up Nerf gun turret or three? Okay, I'll stop..

    1. Love this image, Ed. I think I'll use it in my next post, as it's just the feel I'm going for!

  4. The Arbor Day Society sells trees. They are very small but reasonably priced. Just a thought.

    1. Thanks for the note. The Husband is obsessed with Arbor Day trees, so I suspect some will make it onto the property :)

  5. Just a heads up from a former nursery person...cedars are awesome trees but make sure if you are planning on planting any fruit trees, especially apples, that you have buffer tree planted between the cedars and the apples as well as keeping the apples far away. There's a disease spread by cedars called cedar apple rust-affects ornamentals like crab apples as well as fruit apple trees.
    Otherwise, love the idea and good luck!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Cindy! We do plan to have some apples -- right now they're slated to be about 75' away from the cedars. I'll have to ask around to see if that's far enough in the NW!

    2. Cindy - how far should apple trees be from cedars?

    3. Cindy - how far should apple trees be from cedars?

    4. At least a quarter mile. And make sure you have a buffer tree between the cedars and the apples. Though it can be carried for up to 2-3 miles, this won't kill the apples or the cedars, but can cause the fruit to look icky and repeated infestations can damage the trees, ie stress them out and affect production.


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