Tree Planting Workshop October 13, 2021
On a bright, clear, cool fall day on October 13, 2021, DIG it hosted a tree planting workshop. Bullhead City Master Gardeners Emeriti Bill Stillman, and Leroy Jackson, and Master Gardeners Debbie Miller, who are all part of the Mohave County U of A Cooperative Extension program, were the instructors. The sponsor for this endeavor was Mohave Community College and Lori Gunnette. The workshop consisted of a lively discussion and hands on demonstration of how to successfully plant a fruit tree in our desert environment. Bill pointed out that the first thing that must be done before digging the hole for the tree to be planted in is to dial 811 to make sure there are no power lines to be disturbed. After it is determined that it is safe to dig you can begin the hole. Bill and Debbie showed how to get the tree out of the pot without damaging the roots. The tree should never be pulled out by the trunk, as that will potentially ruin the sensitive roots that are still in development. Then, Bill went on to discuss the technique of digging the hole so that the tree roots do not circle against the glazed sides of an improperly dug hole. Leroy dug the hole and he and Debbie pointed out the necessity of using proper tie material to stake the tree so that it grows strong and does not blow over in the wind. They also wrapped newspaper around the lower trunk to guard against sunburn, rabbits and other harmful critters, and some insects. A group of children from the Prenda Micro School in Kingman attended the presentation. The kids enjoyed the hands on experience and of course had lots of questions about the planting method, the type of tree, and the fruit it would produce. The tree that was planted was a Desert Gold Peach which came from the local Star Nursery. This tree, when fully grown, can reach a height of 25 to 30 feet, but with proper pruning can be kept to 6 to 7 feet tall. After the tree was placed in the hole, staked, and tied, Bill showed how to build a berm around the tree so that it could be properly irrigated.
After the tree was planted, it was dug up and given to Erma, one of DIG its' prospective gardeners.