There can be multiple reasons why you want to try planting trees ranging from landscaping to reforestation, whatever the reason is, you need to know the efficiency you will be dealing with. This will be especially important if you are dealing with a large plantation project as you will need to determine a time frame and the labor force needed to finish the project. There are different methods of planting trees and each of these methods provide different results, let’s take a look at them.
Although the efficiency will vary a lot depending on the method and experience of the person, to answer how many trees can you plant in a day directly, I would say that any average person can plant between 500-800 trees per day using a shovel. More experienced workers can plant up to 2000 trees within 8-9 hours. On the other hand, if you are dealing with bigger pot trees or using other methods, you’ll be able to plant no more than 10-15 trees a day.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE PLANTING TREES
Before we get into different planting techniques and how effective they are, let’s take a look at some of the tips you should know about before starting the planting process.
The first step you should take is to make a rough outline of the area in which you want to plant trees, this includes demarcating the boundaries and getting a rough idea of where you want to plant the trees. One of the things which have helped me in the past was using sticks or stones to mark the areas where the rows of trees were meant to start.
Another tip is to make sure that the planting area is at a safe distance from electrical poles and wires. One thing that a lot of people new to planting don’t realize is that the heights to which the trees can potentially grow and the nuisance they can create if they come in the way to electrical lines and even houses.
The same thing goes with underground gas and water pipelines. Large trees have large and powerful roots which can go through almost anything, this can create a lot of problems in the future. Keep a minimum distance of 15-20ft between power lines and tree saplings.
If there are buildings nearby, I would suggest keeping a distance of about 60ft from them. When it comes to the distance between the saplings or trees themselves, I would suggest at least a 6-7ft gap between the trees.
DIFFERENT METHODS OF PLANTING TREES AND THEIR EFFICIENCY
When it comes to different ways of planting trees, there probably are a lot of different methods all around the world. Some of the most popular methods include planting burlapped trees or pot trees using a shovel, or planting saplings using a dibble, spade, or a speed shovel
All of the methods are similar, but yet, in terms of efficiency, they are very different. Let’s take a look.
HOW MANY BURLAPPED TREES CAN I PLANT IN A DAY AND HOW TO PLANT THEM?
You can find burlapped trees in all parts of the world, but this method is not preferred if you have to plant a large number of trees as it takes a lot of time to plant one. On the other hand, these might be perfect for home gardens or local landscaping if you are looking for a quick solution and don’t want to wait 10 years before your saplings grow.
The first step here is to dig a hole that is at least as deep as the length of the root ball but also being fairly wide, I would recommend double the area. I will also advise tilling the surrounding soil as well. This makes the soil more breathable and absorbent for water.
Once the hole has been dug, keep the plant in the middle of the hole. Keep in mind here to not pick up or handle the plant by the stem, this might break some of the roots or make the soil loose. Handle the plant by the root ball.
One important step here to make sure that the root collar matches the ground level once placed. Cut the wires around the burlap only after placing the tree in place, once all the packing material has been removed put the soil back into the hole.
Once the tree has been placed, make sure the soil is nice and tense and make a small basin surrounding the plant for the water to collect. Water the plant every few days especially if the weather is hot. You can also try spreading some mulch over the surrounding area to stop any excess weed growth and to retain moisture.
As this method is quite extensive, it can take a lot of time especially if you are have never done this before. It comes nowhere close to the other methods in terms of the time it takes to plant one. I would say you are looking at anywhere between 15-20 trees a day as a beginner and maybe up to 50 trees a day for an experienced planter.
EFFICIENCY AND TECHNIQUE OF PLANTING TREES USING A DIBBLE
This is considered to be the fastest method out there to plant a large number of trees in a single day. This method is usually used when dealing with smaller trees or saplings. Using a dibble is usually considered a faster method than using a shovel. Some experienced planters manage to plant anywhere from 1,000 to 2000 trees a day. I have never managed to plant more than 1000, so anyone that can plant 2000 a day consistently, respect.
The method itself is pretty simple, using your upper body strength pierce the dibble in the soil at an angle and then push it forward to create a small hole for your sapling.
Make sure the depth of the hole matches the depth of the root which is supposed to be placed into the hole. Once placed, fill the soil around the tree and push the bar into the soil a little further from the sapling and then pull it back towards you. This is done to move the soil towards the roots.
You can use your foot to make the soil around the sapling firm. All you have to do now is wait for the trees to grow.
If the soil is dry, you can also water the trees, but if you are planting a few thousand plants on a field, it’s not necessary. Most of the trees will survive if you picked the right time for planting. As you can see, once you get the hang of this method, it can become quite easy.
If you are using a dibble to plant tree saplings, as a beginner, you can expect to plant 500-600 trees a day. As you gain more experience, you can expect to plant up to 1200 trees a day. However, professionals can plant up to 2000 trees in a 8-9 hour day.
SPEED OF PLANTING TREES USING A SHOVEL
Using a shovel to plant saplings is pretty similar to using a dibble, although slightly slower when compared to a dibble. I think this is because a shovel requires relatively more upper body strength when compared to a dibble and this can slow you down over a long time.
The steps for this method are pretty much the same with the only difference being that you have to insert the shovel with the blade reversed and you have to pull the soil towards you to create space for the sapling.
The next steps are pretty much the same, but the tree in place and cover it with soil while ensuring with your foot that the soil around the tree is firm.
It is important to make sure that all the roots are underground and covered with soil. If they are exposed to sun, the tree will most likely die.
HOW MANY TREES CAN I PLANT IN A DAY USING A HOE?
I would say that a dibble, shovel, and a hoe are like cousins of one another, with the speed of planting trees decreasing in that order. I have never used hoe for planting trees, and I am not sure how many you can plant in a day, but if you don’t have anything else at hand, you can give it a go.
The basics of the planting technique are pretty much similar, here you have to make sure that the handle of the hoe is parallel to the ground when you are driving it into the soil.
Once the hoe is in the soil push it forward to about a 45-degree angle, this will make the soil come towards you creating space for the tree to be placed. Then the next steps are pretty much the same, with the hoe still at an angle place the tree, and cover it with the soil.
You can also use it to dig a hole to plant a pot tree, I think that would be a better use for it.
The reason why this is slower compared to the other two methods is that you will have to bend again and again to make the handle parallel. This takes up much more energy and you are more prone to back injuries as well. Because of more effort, the overall efficiency of planting will be reduced over the whole day.
HOW MANY POTTED TREES CAN I PLANT IN A DAY?
You might be in a situation where you went to a plantation or a store to get tree saplings and they have are pot trees. Usually in large-scale projects using potted trees are heavily discouraged due to the effort and lack of speed. But if you are dealing with one for your home project then it shouldn’t be a problem.
According to the height and width of the pot, dig a hole in the ground which is about double in width compared to the pot.
Be careful while taking the tree out of the pot, pulling it too hard from the stem can break or damage the roots, also make sure to take out as much soil attached to the roots as possible.
Place the roots and soil in the hole and cover it with the original soil while patting the soil firmly.
This method is much slower when compared to others we have talked about; you first have to dig a hole then take the plant out of the pot and fill it again with soil. Although this method might be a bit faster than the burlap as you don’t have to cut all the nails and wires around the roots.
Planting pot trees you can expect to plant about 20-25 trees a day as a novice and once you’ve got a hang of it, you can maybe plant about 50 trees a day.
PLANTING BARE ROOT TREES
It is recommended in a lot of places that bare root trees should be soaked in water for a couple of hours at least. Although the rest of the steps are pretty much similar to burlap or potted plants, this additional step makes it much more time-consuming in its entirety.
But if you plan your planting process properly, you don’t have to go through the burlap cutting phase and taking the tree out of the pot phase. This can save you a lot of time on the day of the plantation.
If the trees have been soaked already, I think an amateur can plant about 50-75 bare root trees a day.
PLANTING EFFICIENCY ACCORDING TO SOIL TYPE
Soil can play a huge role in the speed of planting trees. For example, if you are dealing with moist black soil then your job will be much easier. Moist black soil is much easier and faster to dig, most tree species also thrive in black soil.
On the other hand, if you have rocky soil or dry clay, then it will take more time and effort as you have to dig into rocks. A dry black soil although easier when compared to rocky soil is still a lot of nuisance. One thing you can in case of dry soil is to water the land a little bit before beginning the planting process, but don’t overdo this step otherwise you will have difficulty walking.
Sandy soil is slightly faster because it is easier to dig into, but the soil doesn’t hold as well so you might have to spend more energy trying to keep the sand in place while placing the tree. Also, many trees do not survive in sandy conditions, so it is also important to pay attention to that.
I am sure there are many more methods of planting trees pertaining to different regions, I tried to go through some of the most popular ones. To sum it up, using a dibble is probably the fastest way to plant trees, with some professionals reaching about 2-2500 trees a day. If you don’t have a dibble then either a shovel or hoe will work fine. If you are just handling your backyard or garden, then either the potted or burlap planting method will work as well.
Remember that once you get the hang of it, it will become much easier and faster.
I am the guy behind Theyardable.com. I grew up on a homestead and I am here to share the knowledge I have and things I learn while living in the countryside.