Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tree Planting Tips

As spring nears, we all start thinking about planting and replenishing our garden.  If you've been following our feed, you probably saw our last post about the many benefits trees give us. So, I hope that has given you the kick in the pants that you needed to go out and find a tree to plant in your yard.

When you purchase a tree, you'll generally get a tree that is a bare root tree, a containerized tree or a balled/burlapped tree. Each one has different methods of planting.

When dealing with a bare root tree, first unpack the tree, removing all packing materials. Carefully untangle the roots and soak the roots in water 3 to 6 hours. It is important to know that you should not allow the roots to dry out.

Dig a hole, wider than seems necessary, so the roots can grow outward without crowding. Remove any grass within a 3-foot circular area. To aid root growth, turn soil in an area up to 3 feet in diameter.

You should plant the tree at the same depth it stood in the nursery, with plenty of room for the roots. Partially fill the hole, firming the soil around the lower roots. Do not add soil amendments such as peat or bark. Also, you may feel like you are helping your tree by adding fertilizer, potting soil, or chemicals in with the soil.  NO! Do not do this.

Shovel in the remaining soil. It should be firmly, but not tightly packed. Construct a water-holding basin around the tree. Give the tree plenty of water.

After the water has soaked in, spread protective mulch two inches deep in a 3-foot diameter area around the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk.

The soil and mulch around your trees should be kept moist but not soggy. During dry weather, generously water the tree every 7 to 10 days during the first year. Water slowly at the dripline.

Bare root trees often look 'sad' as their roots are exposed, but it is important to know that because their abundant, fibrous roots aren't confined by a container, bare-root trees get off to a more vigorous start compared to containerized roots which typically need more time to adjust to transplanting. Bare-root trees typically surpass the size of larger containerized trees in only a few years.

Stay tuned as I will cover containerized and burlapped tree planting next.

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