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Read this for 7 simple steps to planting trees for success
Planting a tree requires more than digging a hole and placing a sapling in the ground. It’s a process of nurturing life, contributing to the environment, and ensuring the tree’s healthy growth for years. Therefore, following certain measures is crucial to ensure your trees flourish and thrive. We have discussed simple steps to help you create a greener, more sustainable landscape.
Pick the Ideal Tree and Location
- Select a tree species suitable for your local climate and environment. Consider the projected height and root system before planting your tree. Ensure sufficient space for the tree to develop a mature canopy and root structure without affecting nearby trees, shrubs, paths, or buildings.
Properly Prepare the Planting Hole
- Ensure the planting hole is at least three times wider than the current root mass when preparing a hole for planting. When digging the hole, go for a square shape rather than a round one. The hole’s depth should ideally match the root ball’s height or be just an inch deeper.
Planting trees too deeply may cause them to fail. Before proceeding to the next step, re-measure the hole to ensure it meets the desired dimensions.
Prune As Necessary
- Trees, particularly those that remain in retail nurseries for extended periods, may sometimes show signs of dead roots or branches. In such instances, cautiously trim only the dead portions to enhance the chances of survival for your new tree.
Plant the Tree
- When transferring the tree to the hole, it should be held by its root ball or container rather than its trunk. Once positioned in the hole, carefully eliminate any burlap or other extraneous materials.
Ensure that the top of the root ball aligns with the ground’s level surrounding the hole. Avoid packing the soil when gently backfilling the hole to prevent damage to the delicate roots. Only add the same soil into the hole without adding any fertilizers.
- Staking may be necessary for about six months to provide additional stability during the tree’s early growth stages. However, do not stake for longer than a year. By this time, the tree’s root system should develop enough strength to stand on its own and endure environmental factors.
Improper staking can potentially harm the root ball, so it’s advisable to have an arborist secure the stake. If you do it yourself, ensure the stake penetrates well below the root ball and passes through it between the roots. When attaching, use zip ties or gardener’s tape, allowing the tree some room to sway in the wind.
- Mulching is critical to retaining moisture for your newly planted tree when watering. However, excessive mulching or covering the trunk and root flare can be more damaging than not mulching at all.
Avoid trapping moisture around the root ball or trunk, as it may lead to disease and decay. Mulching maintains moisture and makes it accessible for the roots while safeguarding against potential issues. If you reside where rodents or deer pose a threat, consider constructing a protective barrier around the tree until it becomes well-established.
- Water your newly planted tree for the first time to let the soil settle without packing. Trees generally benefit from thorough soaking rather than frequent, light sprinklings. During the initial couple of years, you should give your tree weekly watering to 6-8 gallons per inch of trunk diameter. Unless you are experiencing drought conditions, you can gradually reduce or discontinue watering after the first few years.
Make the right choice for your trees. Contact American Tree Experts, Inc., for comprehensive tree care services in Montclair, New Jersey. Contact us today at (973) 744-6091 to ensure your trees receive the expert care they deserve.