I got the North Star cherry tree planted on Thursday like I planned. Ryan, Katie and Calvin helped as best they could as did my brother-in-law Tyler. Before planting the tree I tried cutting out the rest of the stump from the birch tree. 1/2 through the job the chainsaw died. After fighting the chainsaw for an hour or so, I gave up and left it overnight. Friday I used an ax and chopped as much out as I could.
Today Craigslist came through for me. I’ve been waiting for someone to give away free woodchips for a week or so, and today it happened. I filled up the back of our trailblazer and come home to put the chips around the trees.
How do you like the repairs I made to my wheelbarrow? The original aluminum legs folded over one too many times and wouldn’t carry a load. Good new wheelbarrows were too expensive when I had most of a good one still at home. So I used some 2x4s, and a long bolt I had in my parts bins and fixed it up.
Our little cherry tree is finally in its new home! What remains of the stump forms a small mound behind the cherry tree. Small enough that I covered it with sod and dirt, and am hopeful that over time it will rot and settle back down to be flat.
Bachman’s got their cherry trees in this week, and today I went and bought a North Star cherry tree. We picked the North Star because it’s self pollinating, hardy and it’s on the smaller side with a max hight of 10-15 feet. The cherries are sour, or pie, cherries, dark red and less than an inch in diameter. I personally would’ve preferred something with pink blossoms, but the white blossoms are supposed to be very showy too.
Buying a Cherry Tree
The tree we got is about 6 feet tall and appeared healthy. It cost $54.99 + tax ($58.91 total) and came with a one year one-time exchange warranty. I chose the one at Bachman’s because it looked the healthiest, it was the biggest and I feel that they probably take the best care of their plants. Bachman’s staff is always knowledgeable with whatever questions I bring to them, and they seem to really enjoy caring for their plants. I’m hoping that that care translates into a tree that is more likely to thrive.
Home Depot had smaller trees that would’ve been good if Bachman’s hadn’t had any. Home Depot’s North Star cherry trees were smaller and bushier with just as many branches as in this photo, but with a shorter trunk, standing at about 4-5 feet tall. Home Depot’s trees look in decent shape and cost $35.
Walmart also had North Star cherry trees, for $25-ish. The Walmart trees looked pretty sad. The probably would’ve survived too, but I’m guessing they would’ve needed an extra season to recover from the lack of love.
Call Before You Dig (Maybe)
If you are going to be digging with a machine in Minnesota, you must contact Gopher State One Call before you start. You can call or submit a request online, and they will come mark your property within two business days. They will mark underground utility paths, including gas and electric so you can avoid dangerous situations, fines etc.
If you are digging by hand, then contacting One Call is optional. We didn’t call a few years ago when we put in our apple trees, because they’re in the backyard and we were sure that there were no lines running underground back there.
From the website linked above:
GSOC also advises you that although hand tools are exempt from the requirement to contact GSOC before you dig, in some circumstances it may be safer for you to have underground facilities marked when using hand tools. Hand tools may pose a threat to you, others and underground facilities. Therefore, contact GSOC and submit an excavation request any time you are unsure of the location of underground facilities or where the nature of your work may put them in danger.
Last year when we remodeled our basement we had our gas meter moved from the basement to the outside. During that process the patchy area between the stump and my house was dug up by the gas company.
I am planning on planting the cherry tree just behind the stump. It would be extremely disappointing if gas repairs were required a few years from now and the cherry tree had to be removed. And of course there’s the whole hitting a gas line while digging thing. In order to avoid either of those situations I contacted Gopher State One Call today. They should come by Tuesday and mark where the gas and any other lines are located and I’ll plant the tree in the place that is least likely to interfere with the utilities.
If all goes according to plan, we’ll have the cherry tree planted in its new home by Tuesday night!