Proper Way to Plant a Tree
Home landscapes can benefit greatly from some well-placed trees. They provide shade and added beauty to the yard and are commonly seen in landscapes all across our area. While there are many different types of trees and many different needs and requirements when it comes to their care, pretty much all trees need the same thing when it comes to being properly planted. Here at Country Landscape and Supply we see a lot of poorly planted trees and get asked about proper planting methods a lot so we wanted to share with you the proper way to plant a tree:
Placing the Tree
The first step is to prepare a hole for the tree. Dig it just as deep as the root ball because you do not want to bury it any deeper than where it was in the pot. You do however want to dig your hole two to three times as wide as the root ball so there is room for the roots to grow out. Always carefully handle the tree by the root ball and try to keep it as intact as possible and if there is burlap covering the root ball you should cut away as much of it a possible to allow good root growth. Place the tree in the hole and ensure the top of the root ball is even with the top of the hole. This is the first step to finding out the proper way to plant a tree.
Backfilling the Hole
Backfill the hole with the dirt and fill things in all around the root ball, lightly packing the soil as you go. Make sure the truck stays straight and that the tree is not leaning as you fill in the hole. You can add organic matter to the soil if you wish, especially if the soil is overly sandy or has a lot of clay and could benefit from organic matter. Any excess soil that is left over after the hole has been filled in can be used to make a berm around the planting hole to help maximize watering until the tree is established.
Staking Up the Tree
Once your tree is straight in the ground and firmly secure in the hole, planting is done and it is time to secure the new tree with some staking. A stake is an effective way to keep a new tree from bending and leaning as it settles into its new home in your yard. Drive the stake through the root ball into the ground underneath to provide stability. Try to position it an inch or so away from the trunk of the tree and make sure you tie it loosely to the trunk- tie too tightly and you can damage the trunk of the tree! Large trees may need two or three stakes that are placed several feet from the trunk. It is important to keep n eye on the new tree and once the tree has started to grow the ties and stakes needs to be removed.
Watering the New Tree
The next step in the process of learning the proper way to plant a tree is to give the tree its first drink. Water the tree as soon as after planting so it doesn’t get dried out and make sure you give your new tree some water every day for several weeks afterward. By the time you get to this point, the roots will have been growing out into the new soil and you can begin tapering back on the watering and watching for signs that the tree needs a drink.
Protecting and Helping the Tree
Fertilizer was once used with every new planting but we now know that it is of marginal benefit at planting time, and can actually damage the tender new roots. It is best to wait until its first active growing season. Addin a layer of mulch 2-3 inches thick around the base of the tree will guard against water loss and will help with weed and pest control. One final tip is that your newly planted trees should not be pruned or cut unless there are dead or damaged branches that should be removed- otherwise you need to wait till its actively growing to start a pruning routine.
For help with all of your new tree planting and landscape needs come see us today at Country Landscape and Supply and let us help you with learning the steps to the proper way to plant a tree in your landscape this year!