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Tree Planter Rental Program

Marinette County has provided a low-cost tree planter rental program to private landowners since 1982. Rental fees are used for equipment maintenance and tree planter replacements. WI DNR Foresters provide all technical support in coordination with LWC programs. In 1992, Marinette County celebrated the one-millionth tree planted with the tree planter rental program. The honor fell upon Gary, Rocky and Marty Anderson of the Town of Wagner.

The Cost to Rent a Tree Planter

The cost for using the tree planter is $10.00 per 1,000 trees for the first 10,000 trees and $8.00 per 1,000 trees after, with a minimum charge of $30.00. Usually the planting minimum is 3,000 trees, however, exceptions are made down to 1,000 trees depending upon the tree planters availability. Contact the DNR Forester in Wausaukee at (715) 856-9157 for more information on renting one of the tree planters. Most planting is done mid-April through May.

The Two Tree Planters

The Land & Water Conservation has two tree planters available for rent to plant tree seedlings. both machines operate off the hydraulic system, and are towed by a tractor. The tractor must be provided by whoever rents the tree planter. Both tree planters are pulled by the tractors drawbar. The tractor should be big enough to pull a 3-bottom plow, at least 30 hp. One of the planters is heavy duty and can scalp off the sod if necessary. The other is medium duty and is not able to scalp off the sod.

How to Transport the Tree Planter

When transporting the tree planter, between sites you will need a full size truck with a 2-inch ball hitch to pull the planter. The machine weighs about 3,000 pounds and does not have suspension nor tail lights. Therefore, it must be towed as a "Slow Moving Vehicle" during the daylight hours only. The maximum speed is 25 miles per hour.

How to Plant

When using the tree planter, a minimum crew of three people is needed; a driver, a planter and a helper. The boxes on either side of the seat holds the trees. Pull apart the roots before placing them in the boxes. The trees will be much easier for the person planting to handle. If the roots are longer than 12 inches, they should be pruned back to 10 inches. Cover the trees with a wet burlap or wet sawdust to keep the roots from drying out and dying. Have water on hand to keep the covering wet.

Proper planting of the trees is necessary to insure good survival. The machine should be moving while the planting shoe is lowered into the ground. The planting shoe should enter into the ground about 10 inches. The person planting places the tree in the slit and holds it upright, moving it to the rear until the closing slit "grabs" the tree. The proper depth is very important as too shallow or too deep can kill the tree. Look where the soil line is on the tree. That is the depth it was growing in the nursery and the depth you should replant it.

Spacing the trees may seem difficult at first. The helper should watch the spacing for the person doing the planting. After a short time, the planter will develop a rhythm that gives the proper spacing. The helper should check the spacing from time to time. The machine is designed to plant the trees in a more or less straight row. Gentle arcs may be made while planting, however, the machine must be raised out of the ground before making a sharp turn such as a t the end of the row or maneuver around an obstacle.

Walk over your planting site before you plant. You may want to stake out the area to help visualize the planting, locate access trails, and to avoid hazards such a s large rocks, ditches, and especially wet spots. Pulling a tractor and a tree planter from the mud takes a lot of time and is hard work! Do not plant under power lines, over gas lines or buried cable, or closer than 20 feet from a road.

Make a good day of it! Start planting as soon as you can and keep going. It is important and fair to the other people who will be using the machine. If a major breakdown occurs that you cannot handle or if the weather is so bad that it is not feasible to plant, call one of the numbers below:

Contact Dan Mertz, DNR Forester at 715-856-9153 or email him at dan.mertz@wisconsin.gov