Author Archives: Jerry

Tree Moving & Spading

Arbor Hill Tree Farm’s newest purchase for moving & transplanting trees.

We are able to transplant evergreens up to 12 ft tall or Shade Trees up to 5 inch diameter.

The new T650 Bobcat is equipped with tracks to minimize turf damage. We can put on a 36 or 48inch diameter tree spade. This is in addition to our existing truck mounted 90 inch diameter Big John tree Spade. Check out our web site Tree Spade Page at  for more information.

River Birch Trees


A very hearty, native & popular tree for Minnesota.

The River Birch is most common sold as a Clump form, but can also be purchased as a single stem tree. The River Birch loves water, so is very tolerant of heavy, excessively wet soil. It likes full sun. It is a very fast growing, large tree at maturity. The bark is off white to brown in color and has a peely look to it.


The picture to the right is a close up view of the River Birch bark. As the tree gets larger the bark will turn a darker color.


The River Birch has a lot of roots. When it is transplanted it requires a lot of water to compensate for the root that was cut off for transplanting. The picture below illustrates how much root reestablishes in a short time. This tree was dug & burlapped in early May. The tree was placed in a holding display area & watered regularly. A customer purchased the tree in late August. The tree had to be re tree spaded for transplanting purposes. You can see that the tree grew approximately 2 feet of root in those few months.

If you have a River Birch in your landscape water frequently. I believe it is impossible to overwater. A sign the tree wants more water is leaves turning yellow and falling off during summer months. In the fall the leaves normally turn a yellow color and shed.Always plan for the future on this tree and others. Give them plenty of room to grow.

Mid Summer Tree Watering

Newly planted & existing trees in Minnesota require watering, especially in the warmest days of the year. When a tree is transplanted, some root structure is cut off. The first 2 years after transplanting, trees require care weekly. The object is to help the tree reestablish the root that was cut off. Most balled & burlapped trees require approximately 20 gallons weekly. By running a garden hose at a trickle amounts to about 5 gallons in 5 minutes. So 20-30 minutes a week will provide the water the trees need.

This is just a general rule. Excessive temperatures, extreme heavy soil , type of tree will affect how much to water.

In the warm summer weather, if a tree is dropping leaves, it is definately telling you it is not getting enough water. The first response of a tree to a dry condition is to drop leaves. This is a survival instinct.

For more detailed or specific questions on any tree, please contact me by email or phone.

Just a little care early after transplanting will allow the tree to thrive as well as survive.

Minnesota Wet Weather.

As you may have noticed, we are experiencing a signifigant amount of rain this spring. Although the moisture is great for the trees, it can be a chore to get into finished sod sites to plant trees without damaging finished sod.

We have invested in a great machine to help us plant trees in situations like this. The Terex with a turf edition track was originally developed by ASV. The advantage of this machine is it is only 5 ft wide and has smooth rubber tracks 18 inched wide. With this equipment we are able to get into tighter spots, planting evergreen trees up to 12ft tall or shade trees up to 5 inch diameter.

Even though today is the last day of spring, Arbor Hill Tree Farm has thousands of trees ready for planting. Come out and take a look.


Evergreen Winter Burn

Colorado Spruce Tree with winter burn Spring of 2014

Now that the snow melt is almost complete, I have been walking through the fields getting ready for Spring digging. One thing that is very evident on some trees is the toll a harsh winter can take on evergreen trees. What the picture is showing is called Winter Burn. Basically what has happened is the long cold winter, strong wind & sunlight has been harsh enough to dry out some outer needles, causing the needles to turn brown.  The degree of browning of the needles varies on each tree. Some factors that affect how severe the winter burn is on each tree are species of tree, location of the tree on your lot & how much moisture was in the ground around the tree when the ground froze.The good news is as the new growth comes on in the Spring, the brown needles will fall off and the tree will get its true, beautiful color again. To try to avoid a severe winter burn in the future for evergreen trees in your landscape do these 2 preventative measures. Fertilize your evergreens with a fertilizer specifically made for acid loving plants during the spring & early summer. Follow label directions. Also make sure you thoroughly water evergreens in late fall. Evergreens take in moisture all winter. This should help reduce or eliminate winter burn.



New Equipment

Arbor Hill Tree Farm is getting ready for a busy tree season. We have purchased a new Dodge Ram 4500 with a dump box. This will be used for all of our tree installation projects throughout this year and many years to come. With a larger truck having a larger GVW Rating, we are able to haul more trees in 1 load. Also new is a Terex PT-50 turf edition track skid steer for planting trees on finished sod with extremely minor or no turf damage. This machine is almost identical to our older ASV RC-50 machine we have been using for several years.

The addition of this equipment will allow us to be as efficient as possible. We look forward to getting out in the fields as soon as weather permits. We have been taking orders for trees for Spring delivery. We do have some great Spring Tree Savings listed on our Tree Specials Page, . The specials we offer expire the end of March. If you have a project in mind we encourage you to order in March. Once weather permits you are welcome to walk through our field and hand pick trees if you wish. We typically start planting in early May.



Signs of Spring

The snow is still very deep at Arbor Hill Tree Farm. Fortunately we are seeing a few signs that Spring is on its way. If you have noticed, the days are getting a little longer. Both morning & evenings are noticeably lighter longer. The daytime average normal temperatures are creeping up to around 28 degrees F. With a sunny day, we are experiencing a little melting here & there.

We are busy at Arbor Hill Tree Farm getting prepared for Spring. We have invested in some new machinery to help make our installation & planting process be as efficient as possible. I will have some photos and more information about that in a future Blog Post.

It is also time again for the Minneapolis Home & Garden at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The show runs from February 26th to March 2. We would love to see you there. Come out and get inspired to do a home improvement project or improve your landscape. Arbor Hill Tree Farm will be at Booth 922. We have expanded to a 10 by 20 booth this year,to give us room to bring 5 varieties of trees we grow and sell at our tree farm in Cottage Grove. As always we have a Spring Tree Promotion to encourage planning ahead for Spring for your tree needs. Check out our promotion by clicking on the link Please contact me for more details or to place an order. Hope to see you at the show, Jerry  651-245-7978 mobile.  or



Winter Survival

It is Mid January in Minnesota and the wind is howling outside. Night temperatures lately have been going far below zero degrees. This Grossbeak is enjoying some fruit from a Prairefire Crabtree. Birds that stay in Minnesota all winter need some food to survive the long cold winter. This photo was sent to me by one of my customers way up in Northern Minnesota, North of Cohassett, Mn.

Birds use the fruit of trees for food. They also use evergreen trees for shelter from the cold & wind, as well as nesting places in the Spring.When planning your next landscape project, add some trees to help out the birds in your neighborhood survive the winter.

Arbor Hill Tree Farm has a variety of evergreen & shade trees available to add beauty to your landscape as well as providing habitat & food for birds & wildlife.

Check out our regularly updated website. The site has many pages detailing the kinds of trees we sell, along with pictures of each & characteristics of each tree. We sell many sizes of trees, so what size of tree you purchase will determine the planting method we use. The Installation Methods Page describes the different methods we use, along with photos.

We currently have some tree specials available for ordering now for Spring Delivery. Check out our Tree Savings at We encourage placing orders now to take advantage of our tree savings & get on our installation schedule for an early planting date. Trees can be ordered now and when weather permits you may walk through our field & select trees if you wish. A 50% deposit is required to place an order. Please contact Jerry at 651-245-7978 for more info or to place an order. I can also be reached by email at



Gift Certificates

The temperatures have turned bitter cold and we have some new snow to make make you say “Its beginning to look alot like Christmas”.

A great gift for someone on your shopping list this year would be the gift of a tree. The gift that continues to grow year after year. Arbor Hill Tree Farm sells Gift Certificates for any amount. The recipient can use the certificate towards the purchase of the tree of their choice. We make the purchase of a Gift Certificate easy & fast. Just give us a call & we can work out all the details.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.


Christmas Trees

The temperature outside today at Arbor Hill Tree Farm was in the single digits. Very cold to move or plant trees. We have finished our tree planting for the year. We had a great year growing, selling & planting  nursery stock. We want to thank all our customers for purchasing trees from us. Thanks for helping us continue to increase sales yearly.

We are looking forward & planning for next year. We have invested in a new delivery vehicle, as well as new trailer & Terex skid steer with turf friendly tracks. This newer equipment allows us to have an additional installation crew when necessary as well as back up equipment.

With Thanksgiving & Christmas coming up soon, we  are again selling Christmas Trees from our indoor display in our pole barn.We have Precut Frazer Fir Trees from 6ft to 10ft, ranging in price from $59 to $109. Santa will also be available on select Saturdays to visit with. Stop out & see us. Please check our website for details.