From the start I knew the area I was working with was pretty baron. It's nowhere near a body of water and what little plants used to exist have since burned away. I'm hoping to take care of that and create my own little oasis in the middle of the dessert.


The Problem

There is no water out here. Everything is dead. To my knowledge the only source of pollen my bees will have is Doris' apple Orchard about a half mile away from their hive. Bees will fly much farther than that to gather food but if they're to survive in the harsh weather we tend to get here in Utah they'll need more food than just that. Along with low pollen there's the issue of high winds and hot summers. Naturally my mind went to trees.

Here's an example of what the terrain is like out here. Very dry and no flowering plants.

The Lineup

I set out looking for trees that need little water and that flower to provide pollen for my bees. Ideally these few trees will survive their first year and spawn some saplings that I can relocate and nurse to a full tree the next year.

(Insert gallery of saplings here)

After asking around and getting some great help from the county beekeepers association I settled on three trees: Crabapple, Lilac, and Austrian Pine.

Foresting

The Crabapple and Lilac will be good for nectar but I'm not nearly as excited about them as I am the Austrian Pine. Doris has about 10 of these towering over her house and they are fantastic. I'm again taking inspiration from Cody'sLab here. He recently started a similar project but on a much larger scale. He deploys multiple methods for producing new trees but I'll likely just take the lazy route and relocate saplings like he does in episode 1 of his series. (I may even gather saplings I come across while exploring other local areas.)

Water

The trees are going to need heaps of water their first year. After they're properly rooted I should only need to water them a few times a summer but during the first year I'll need to be up there a couple times a week making sure they're getting what they need. To achieve this I got myself a 65 gallon tank that fits comfortably in the back of the Jeep

65 gallons of water weighs about 540 pounds. This is definitely going to make not getting stuck in the mud out there even harder. But hey, I'm planting trees, I should be happy about the wetness while I still can.

Come back in a few weeks for an update on how planting the trees went