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How to trim around young conifers

 
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The previous owners of my house planted about 5000 pine and spruce trees which is really nice. They are probably planted in 2018 and most of them are growing very well with lots of new branches.

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to weed around the seedlings/trees to let them "breathe"? I hope not since there are so many...

They're too close to each other to use a lawn mower or anything like that. It would also be too risky because most of them are only about 8 inches tall and are barely visible in between the grasses, dandelions, weeds, etc. I would probably have to get a bush trimmer and be very careful.

I could upload some pictures if that would help to understand my situation better.
 
Posts: 113
Location: USDA zone 6a/5b
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forest garden food preservation bee
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That does sound like a lot. If you want to keep all of them maybe try using a Scythe...probably cheaper than a trimmer and allows you more precision in trimming. Although it may take much longer, you brak up the work into 2-3 hours increments for a month or so. The best time to Scythe is daybreak til about 2-3 hours after at. So about sunrise to 9am or so.

Although if they are too close to get a nice swing than it may be tough. All you really need is a meter (3feet or so) although 6 is ideal...but then your mower would probably fit.

How close are they apart?
 
pollinator
Posts: 188
Location: WV
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Do you have any idea why they planted so many and who so close?  Sounds as if they might have been considering selling them as Christmas trees but still the spacing seems to be a bit too close for that.  If the trees are above the level of the weeds they should be okay.  On the other hand, if the weeds are taller than the trees, you run the risk of the weeds crowding them out.  

I actually was picturing a scenario where you couldn't get a push mower between the trees, but since you stated you have over 5000 I realize you were probably referring to a riding mower as I imagine that would take a while to mow around that many.  In that case, the spacing is probably about what the commercial tree farms around here use.
 
Daniel Benjamins
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They are all planted in a grid, about 5 feet apart. I meant to say a riding mower indeed, not a regular push mower. My riding mower barely fits in between the trees plus the land is so wobbly that it's pretty much impossible to drive on there.

Our land is just over 8 acres and the first owners of the house had a complete dirt bike track built in the back yard. The previous owners cleared everything and planted the trees. I think it's about 4-5 acres of trees in total.

I guess I have to wait and see what happens. It seems kind of impossible to keep everything maintained. I think if they would survive this year, they will taller than the weeds next year and then they should be okay. And then in a year or two they are tall enough to actually see them all and keep everything a bit more maintained.
 
gardener
Posts: 2981
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
315
forest garden trees urban
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I have imagined this on a small scale.
At that scale I always think of chickens.
They'd destroy anything that wasn't  perennial and some of the perennials as well.
They would love the decaying needles,  the bugs and fungus and any stray seeds,  but the trees would be fine.
Unfortunately,  I see no easy way to protect and employ them on such a large scale.
 
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