Planting a tree takes thought. Where to buy, where to place it and how to grow it. Here are a few ways to ensure that your next tree planting survives.
Dig Your Hole
Dig a hole 2 to 3 times as wide as your tree’s root ball. Then, carefully place it in the hole, keeping the root ball intact. Position the tree in the center of the hole so the best side is facing in the direction you want. Don’t plant it too deep. The root flare at the base of the trunk should be just above ground level.
Shovel in soil as you make sure the tree is straight. Keep filling and firmly packing in soil. Be sure there aren’t any pockets of air.
Scoop out a bit of a basin around the hole and water your tree in well.
Once the water has soaked in, spread 2 to 4 inches of mulch in about a 3-foot diameter around the tree to protect the roots and hold in moisture. Be sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk.
Keep An Eye On It
Keep the soil and mulch moist — but not soggy. If the weather is dry, water your new tree every week or so for the first year. Don’t flood it. Water it slowly.
Resist the urge to fertilize your tree. While new babies are always hungry, new trees are not. Adding fertilizer or chemicals could kill it. Wait a year before fertilizing.
Tree Planting Mistakes To Avoid
Fact…there’s a wrong way to plant a tree. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
Planting Trees In The Wrong Spot
Be sure the tree you choose is right for the space. How tall will it get? How wide? Does it prefer sun or part shade? What about soil requirements? Will it drop messy fruit on your sidewalk? If you’re hoping for spectacular fall color, will your tree have it? Do some research.
Digging A Hole That’s Too Small
It’s really important to dig a hole 2 to 3 times as wide as your tree’s root ball. Roots need plenty of room to spread out as your tree grows. Eventually, roots can spread out two to three times the width of the canopy of the tree.
Planting Too Deep
It’s tempting to really snug a tree’s root ball down into the ground, but if you set it in too deep, it can suffocate. The root flare at the base of the trunk should be just above ground level.
Not Watering Enough
New trees are thirsty — not just for a week or two, but for a year or two. Plan on a regular watering schedule for at least the first year to ensure your new tree’s health.
Provide about an inch of water a week. More than that, and your tree’s roots could rot.
Ignoring Potbound Roots
If your tree has been growing in a container, take a good look at the roots before you plant the tree. Do they spiral around in a circle?
Be sure to loosen all the roots so they face out from the trunk, not circle around it. If they continue to grow in a spiral, they’ll eventually strangle your tree.
Get In Touch
Let the professionals at Ramos Landscaping help you with planting your trees and shrubs. If you are not already a Ramos Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Contact us at 508-808-5087. We’d love to hear from you.