How to Get Homestead Shade Trees For FREE!

by Texas Homesteader ~

Y’all know I’ve planted many trees since moving here. They typically struggle the first year & then succumb after the first 12-18 months. 

I kid you not, I’ve lost 18 trees in our BACKYARD ALONE!

That’s lots of money wasted. But dang y’all, I really miss the beautiful canopy of trees I’ve always assured that we enjoyed at each and every home where we’ve ever lived. 

I know it doesn’t make financial sense to keep plunking down money year after year to buy trees & get them planted when they obviously don’t want to live here.

But aaaahhhh…  Y’all remember my battle cry?  Use Whatcha Got!

I've been frustrated to buy, plant and lose so many trees since moving here. Come see how I've gotten homestead shade trees for FREE! #TexasHomesteader

I found a small tree seedling growing by the foundation of our home and I knew I had to remove it. But I wondered… why not move it to a place where I’d LIKE for it to grow??? This tree obviously really WANTS to live.

And if I start the tree out this small it may have a greater chance of digging in its roots in this apparently difficult-to-grow location of our yard where I’d love to have trees. 

So I carefully dug up that tree up and moved it to a place in the yard where I hoped it would grow. I think it’s an Elm tree but whatever it is I’d love to have it grow here!

Relocating A Volunteer Seedling

I mulched around it heavily with spoiled hay that they cows had trampled. That mulch kept the soil around my tender tree cooler and conserved the moisture all summer long.

Although a bunny happily made the top of that seedling his lunch a couple of times, I’ll place a piece of chicken wire around it so it can’t be snacked on again. Other than the bunny buffet, I’ve been very pleased at how well it’s done!

So pleased in fact that I’ve since relocated another volunteer tree seedling to another place in the yard. It hasn’t cost us anything! The tree’s obviously indigenous to our location and I’m finally hopeful to one day have several trees shading the backyard of our home.


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4 thoughts on “How to Get Homestead Shade Trees For FREE!

  1. ColleenB.~Texas

    I have learned from years past Not to plant the trees to deep cause they just don’t survive when planted deeply. Was pretty naïve back then but have learned so much over the years through trial and error and talking to a great nursery person who knows something when it comes to planting trees, shrubs, etc. I do hope that you have great success in your young plantings.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yeah I think I experienced something similar years ago too Colleen. And supposedly you’re not supposed to amend the soil when you plant, but that’s an exception here apparently with our shallow topsoil situation. And you typically build a well around the tree when you plant so water can soak in but once again an exception here since plant specialists are telling me it’s possible in our heavy soil that the new trees end up getting too much water. So I’ve been amending around trees with thick layers of spent hay to conserve moisture without too much watering as well as moderate soil temps & increase the soil activity around the trees roots. As the hay decomposes it’s my hope that it will add goodness to the soil too. So far it seems to be working well but, you know, 12-18 months is the timeframe that will tell the tale! ~TxH~

  2. Cecilia

    Good idea! You can come dig up all the seedlings you want at our place! Another way to get trees would be to gather the acorns or seeds and plant them. Good luck and hope they survive because what’s a yard without trees?


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