Amongst the many things that can go wrong with growing trees, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight two.
The first photo above shows a dead Noble fir (NF) seedling alongside its replacement. I planted about 50 NF seedlings early in 2017 with the intent of having a small patch of Christmas Trees for family and friends in several years. They all seemed to take well to their new home. Hence, I assumed they would need no attention over the relatively hot summer. However, they all died before summer’s end. My neighbor’s feedback was, “why didn’t you water them?”. I never have watered my Douglas fir (DF) and western red cedar (WRC) seedlings over my first few rookie years as a small woodland owner. With a wealth of resources as a member of both WCSWA and OWC, and with immediate neighbors having decades of experience, I failed to use those resources by falling into a mental trap of thinking 3 years of seedling planting made me an expert. In early 2018 I replanted 50 NF again, but now with the expectation to likely need to water them every week or so though the summer. If they survive the summer, then I may mount mesh tubes around them to improve their chances against the deer and elk.
The second photo is a 12 inch diameter DF that snapped in heavy winds 15 feet above the ground. I am really good with the chainsaw …but this time better recognized the benefit of asking a few people with much more experience felling trees than me. My neighbor’s feedback was, “don’t take the risk …it will come down at some point on its own”. Another’s feedback was, “easy, do X, Y, and Z”. As much as I want to do X, Y, and Z, I decided that since this snag will fall in an area rarely accessed, and recognizing that I have never felled such a tree, to just give it time to come down on its own.