Here are instructions for how to plant a tree. Tree planting is a great family activity and it is a great way to mark the birth of a child. The goal in planting trees is a robust healthy tree that will thrive throughout its life expectancy. To achieve this, the trees must be carefully handled until they are planted and then placed in the ideal environment to promote strong, consistent growth.
Fragile: Handle Tree Sapling with Care
Handle an unplanted tree CAREFULLY. When loading and unloading a tree, for example, move it and set it down gently. Take care not to damage the branches. And always provide support underneath the root ball, whether it’s in a pot or not. Be certain to keep the roots moist. The death of roots is the most common reason that trees don’t survive after planting. To check for moistness, insert your finger the full length into the root ball to check for moisture. Then, water as long as needed to moisten roots. Store unplanted trees in the shade or the garage, to keep them cool until planted.
When To Plant A Tree
The fall is most often considered the best time to plant a tree but the spring also works well. Obviously you don’t want to plant a tree when the ground is frozen. Therefore, the winter is not a great time to plant saplings. However, even the winter can even be a fine time if you are located in warmer areas like Florida, Louisiana, or California. The summer can be a less favorable time to plant a tree sapling because of the heat and dryness. It is most important that a tree sapling receive adequate water.
Select The Tree And Where To Plant The Tree
First you will need to select the perfect tree for you new landscaping project in your yard. Think about how much room it will occupy when it is matured. This will help you consider how close you would like it to your house or other trees. Once you’ve purchased the tree and hauled it home, the realization will hit you that it was fairly expensive. You will want to do all you can to make sure that it’s planted correctly and that it grows healthy and strong. Rest assured that by following a few simple tips, you’ll be able to give your new tree the best chances of growing into a thriving, mature tree. Here are few guidelines to follow for how to plant a tree.
Step By Step Directions For How To Plant A Tree
1. The roots of most trees grow within the top 12″ of soil in a radius around the trunk of the tree. So dig a hole with sloped sides that is at least twice the diameter of the root ball. Under ideal conditions, planting trees with the top of the roots even with the ground gives the greatest advantage for growth. However, when the ground stays wet or the soil is heavy, you can raise the root ball a few inches above ground level to encourage the growth of lateral roots.
2. Place the tree with root ball against the bottom of the hole, except for instances listed above. Then fill in the hole with the native soil you removed, unless it is clay or some other undesirable filler soil. In that case, blend it together with one part sandy loam or use as much rich topsoil as possible. Tamp the newly filled soil gently. Then water thoroughly enough to fill in all the airspaces within the entire hole, and to give the tree its first good drink. Don’t press too firmly on the soil, as you don’t want the roots to be hindered in their growth.
3. Then rake a ridge about 2-4″ tall around the entire periphery of the now-covered hole. This will provide a barrier to hold water over the roots until it sinks in.
4. The initial watering removed air pockets around the tender roots of the tree. Firmly press the soil around these fine roots to give them the soil’s nourishment. A water-absorbent polymer, available at nurseries, collects and holds water next to the roots when it’s abundant, then hydrates them when conditions are dry. Bare-rooted trees can be dipped in this substance or it can be added to the back soil when planting balled or potted trees. Whether you use the polymer or not, water your new tree deeply once a week during warm and dry conditions.
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Planting Trees
One of the most often overlooked things when planting your tree is the size of the hole into which you’ll place the tree roots. Most people simply dig a hole about the width of the current root ball or pot, throw the tree and call it good. In reality, it is usually recommended that your hole be at least 2 times the diameter of the pot.
Another mistake often made is to dig a whole deeper than the current tree pot. This causes a portion of the trunk of the tree to be covered in dirt when the whole is covered again. The opposite is usually what needs to happen. Most professionals, depending on the soil, will even recommend that the hole be a little bit shallower than the current pot or root ball. Then “mound up” the dirt around the base to cover the roots.
Tree placement is something that seems simple, but is often not taken into enough consideration when planting a tree. When you decide on the location of your new tree, be sure to plan for the full-grown tree. Not the skinny little tree that you are currently planting. That tree is going to grow much bigger one day. If you look at it through that lens, you might just realize that you need to spread things out more.
Mulch is a great way to hold in moisture around your tree, but just be careful not to place any mulch right up next to the trunk of the tree as this can lead to pests spreading on the tree.
These are just a few of the things to take into considering when planting tree, but are often the most overlooked items. So when you get your new tree home from the nursery, but sure to put forth the effort to ensure that it grows to it’s full capacity. The effort will be well worth it in the end.
Only use tree stakes if it is necessary for the tree to remain upright. Use webbing or straps to prevent trunk damage. To determine where to place the stake, find the spot where the tree doesn’t fall when you gently hold it in place. Place the padded straps 6″ above this point. Place stakes securely in the ground at least 12″ outside the rim of the hole. Then apply ties to strap and stake, giving support but room for swaying.
Trees remove toxins from air, provide beauty and shade, and increase property value. Nut trees and fruit trees that are right for your climate can also me a great source of food and fun. Plant a tree with care today and enjoy the tree for many years to come!