There’s nothing more rewarding than planting a tree. When we choose and plant a new tree, we know we’re doing something wonderful for our world. We’re making our environment a little more beautiful. By planting a young tree, we’re planning for the future. We look forward to watching them grow over the years. But trees are a significant investment. If you plant them wrong or don’t follow up appropriately, young trees may die. So it’s essential to do it right.
How Can I Choose the Right Tree?
Choosing the right tree for the right location is one of the most important aspects of planting. Several considerations can help you decide what tree is best for you and your landscape.
- Are you planning to plant in full sun or shade? Different trees have different needs in terms of sunlight.
- Factor in your region’s hardiness zone and climate. Do your research on which trees will thrive in your environment and do well all year long.
- Soil chemistry: different species grow best in different types of soil. Get your soil tested and have an expert help you choose what to plant.
- Think long-term. How big will your tree get? What structures or other features are nearby? According to the Arbor Day Foundation, room for growth is one of the most overlooked aspects of planting a tree. Not considering future growth can cause big problems. Think about required growing space in the context of plumbing, sidewalks, and driveways, along with overhead power lines and underground utility lines
- Finally, address what you are looking for in a tree. Are you planting it for fruit or flowers? Do you want to create more shade? Do you want an evergreen for year-round color or a leafy deciduous tree that will be bare in winter?
When Should I Plant Trees?
People love to plant trees in spring when they’re thinking about beautifying for summer. But there are significant advantages to planting in the fall. September through December is a great time to plant. Planting just ahead of cold weather lets the root systems get established during the fall, so they’re ready to grow and flourish in the spring.
How Should I Plant a Tree?
When you purchase a tree for transplanting, you have three options: balled and burlapped, bare-root or containerized. Balled and burlapped trees have a root ball made up of soil and roots, covered with a burlap wrapping. Bare root are trees with no covering on the root. Because it leaves roots vulnerable, this method is best only for certain types of trees, including rose bushes and some fruit trees. Containerized trees are grown and transported in plastic containers instead of being dug up from another location. They come with their full root system in place, and you’ll remove the container before planting.
- For balled and containerized trees, you want to dig a sloping, saucer-shaped hole with plenty of extra space (around three times the size of the root ball or container). For a bare root tree, the roots will already be spread out, so dig a hole wide enough for your tree’s root system with extra room to grow.
- Don’t plant your new tree too deep. In general, you want the root collar (where the roots join the trunk) to be slightly above ground level. Often the tree’s bark can be susceptible to fungus and insects if it’s planted too deeply.
- When moving a tree wrapped in burlap, handle it by the root ball instead of the trunk to avoid separating the roots from the trunk.
- Don’t add fertilizer, potting soil, or chemicals to your new trees. Simply refill the hole with the dirt you displaced for planting.
- Give the tree a generous watering after planting. Then spread protective mulch 2 inches deep.
- According to the Arbour Day Foundation, soil and mulch around your trees should be kept “moist but not soggy.” During dry weather, water your tree every 7 to 10 days for the first year.
Where Should I Plant My Tree?
As the Arbor Day Foundation puts it, placing the “right tree in the right place” is what we’re all going for. As discussed above, considering future growth is essential. Planning around power lines and underground utility lines is a safety issue. And you want to make sure a fully grown tree won’t damage nearby structures as they grow. Consider drainage and sunlight when planning a spot for your new tree, and think about where fruit, flowers, and pine needles may fall.
Planting a tree goes way beyond digging a hole and plopping a tree inside. Trees are expensive, and if you do it wrong, you can lose your investment of money and time. They’re bulky yet delicate, which makes them extra challenging to handle. That’s why working with a professional landscaping team makes so much sense. The experts can help you find the right tree for the right place. At Epling, our team understands how and where to plant trees safely for optimal growth. We can help you choose just the right variety for your location and needs. And we’ll consider all the variables so you’ll get the gorgeous, flourishing treescape you’ve been dreaming of. Epling also offers a 1-year warranty on all plants that we install, including trees.