Planting

Who || What || Where || How || When || Why ||

Who is involved in this project?
Mojave Desert Resource Conservation District
Mojave Desert-Mountain Resource Conservation and Development
Inland Empire Resource Conservation District
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Rebuilding Mountain Hearts and Lives
American Forests Global ReLeaf
Arrowhead Lake Association
Arrowhead Communities Fire Safe Council
Village Nursery & Landscaping
Aaron Scullin Consulting Arborist
Lake Arrowhead Community Services District
Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council
Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Lytle Creek Fire Safe Council
Arrowbear Park County Water District
California ReLeaf
Southern California Edison
Wildlands Conservancy
San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust
USDA Forest Service
Inland Empire Fire Safe Alliance
Arrowhead Woods Architectural Committee
Mountain Area Safety Taskforce
Scullin Images

What to plant?
Native trees that are best suited for the local climate and soils. Remember "Native" does not just mean "same species," it means grown from seeds of local trees. Environmental conditions differ from mountain range to mountain range, and local plants have adapted to those conditions over many generations.

It is best to replant trees grown from native seeds collected in your area and within 1,000 feet of elevation of your location.

Once established, native trees do not need supplemental watering while some non-natives will require additional watering and care to survive and thrive.

While seedlings are initially much smaller than the larger potted trees, a seedling may actually surpass a potted tree in growth rate and size in as little as five years.

For other native plants and ground cover consult sources such as your local nursery and landscaping guides for your area.


Where to plant?
Avoid putting trees too close together. Proper spacing benefits trees by reducing competition for water and minerals. Allow a minimum of 20ft between trees to promote health and vigor to prevent overcrowding.

Plan for the large tree that it will be someday. Imagine the large, mature tree that will fill the space where you are now planting the seedling. Remember, the branches will grow and spread, creating a canopy 15 to 20ft wide.

Also, avoid planting trees too close to buildings or driveways. Beneath power lines and other overhead structure, only plant trees that will not exceed 20 feet in height.

Proper spacing, along with proper pruning, will significantly reduce the fire hazard on your property. Pruning guidelines for residential trees are available through your local nursery.


How to plant a seedling? After selecting your planting site, clear an area two feet square of all competing vegetation and organic material for each tree.

Dig a hole deep enough so that the potted soil of the root ball will touch the bottom of the hole, and the top of the potted soil will be level with the surrounding ground.

Pack dirt around the potting soil and the bare roots firmly. Do not leave air spaces or loose dirt around the tree, as this will cause the soil to dry out.


Be careful to avoid filling the hole with organic material (i.e. leaves, pine needles, wood chips), as it will have the same effect as air spaces.

Trees will do best with heavy, infrequent watering. Let the water soak down to a depth of 12-18 inches once every three to six weeks for the first year, depending on soil moisture.


When is the best time to plant?
The best time to plant trees is generally in late winter or early spring, when the soil has sufficient moisture and the plants are dormant. This ensures the least amount of stress on the tree when it is planted and provides the best opportunity for survival.

Planting seasons vary with elevation. Please check with your local nursery to find out the best time to plant in your area


Why using native trees in replanting is important?
We are creating the future forest of the mountain communities. What we do today will have a direct impact on the species make-up and health of the future forest.

The goal is to create a mixed conifer/hardwood forest with all native species spaced in a fashion that provides for a healthy forest. Benefits include providing different types of food and cover for the variety of wildlife in the forest. A healthy forest is more resistant to extreme challenges such as disease or fire.

A healthy forest affects the entire watershed by reducing soil erosion. The cover of the forest intercepts and breaks up the rain, reducing erosion. This is especially important in keeping runoff and sediment out of rivers and streams. Root systems and organic layer from the forest provide excellent absorption for rain runoff.