Selecting and properly planting a new tree can provide many benefits
for years and years to come. The right tree will not only add beauty to
your property, but it can also increase your home's value. Trees help
to keep your home cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and even
provide homes and food for the neighborhood wildlife.
When selecting a new tree, you will want to try and visualize it at
full maturity. Picture the canopy size and trunk girth. Be sure to
allow room for power lines, roof overhangs, and fence lines. If you
plant a tree in the wrong place now, it can cause a lot of avoidable
headaches later on. A little foresight and planning will help with
finding the perfect spot.
TYPES OF TREES
There are two tree types to choose from - Deciduous and Evergreen.
trees are ones that shed their
leaves in the
Fall, and grow new ones again in the Spring. The beautiful foliage of
these trees will provide beneficial shade to protect your home from
heating up too much in the Spring and Summer. In the Fall and Winter,
the leaves are shed, allowing the sun to shine through and warm your
trees, with their thick year-round
foliage, are great as privacy screens, and to define the landscaping.
They also work well as windbreaks and for shelter. Firs, pines, and
spruces are included in the Evergreen family.
HOW TREES ARE SOLD
Your local nursery or home improvement store will usually have trees
that are specifically suitable to the area you live in, and are the
best place to buy your trees. They come "packaged" in several different
ways - bare-root, containerized, and balled & burlapped.
, as the name implies, are
little root protection. It's very important that the roots are kept
moist, and that they are planted as soon as possible.
trees come in varying sizes of
They are bare-root trees that have been planted in containers
temporarily until they can be placed in the ground.
Balled & burlapped
trees are usually
much larger and
more mature, and their roots are wrapped in some type of cloth or mesh
wiring. They usually have a higher chance of being successfully
transplanted than the previous two types mentioned.
PLANTING YOUR TREE
One thing to note before you begin digging, is that you will want to
make sure there are no underground lines that could pose a danger. Call
your city or state's underground service facility to verify that you
have picked a safe location.
Now that you have picked your tree and the location, you are ready to
Dig and loosen the soil one to two feet deep, and four to five feet
wide. A rototiller is perfect for this purpose, but it can be done with
a shovel. The loosened soil will ensure the roots can move and grow
easily. Compacted soil will inhibit growth, and severely limit or stunt
the tree's growth.
Once the area is sufficiently turned and loosened, dig a hole in the
middle that is no deeper than the top of the tree's root ball. You will
want the soil directly underneath the root ball to be somewhat firm so
that the tree does not settle down too much. The width of the hole
should be two to three times the diameter of the root ball.
Next, remove any protective wrapping, such as the container, cloth, or
mesh wiring. Carefully unwrap any roots that have grown around the root
ball in circles, but be careful not to break them off. Roots that are
encircling the root ball now, may cause problems to the healthy growth
pattern of the tree later on.
Place the tree gently inside the middle of the hole. The top of the
root ball should be slightly above where the level ground will be once
the hole is filled in.
Now, fill in the hole with the tilled soil, gently tapping with the
heel of your foot to close any air pockets. Do not compact the soil too
tightly, however, as this can damage the delicate root system.
Finally, create a shallow ridge, or moat, of soil around the outer edge
of where the root ball was planted as a water reservoir. Water slowly,
filling the reservoir, and then let it drain. The soil should be kept
moist, but not over-wet. The leaves will start to yellow and fall off
if you water the tree too much.
FINAL CARE NOTES
You can place a few inches of mulch
base of the tree, but not touching the trunk. This keeps the soil warm,
and prevents weed and grass growth. Keep the width of the mulch circle
the same width as the tree's canopy as it grows.
Depending on the size and strength
of the new
tree, you may need to stake it. Most newly planted trees do not need to
be staked, and it should be avoided if possible. However, staking will
be necessary if the tree does not appear to be strong enough to hold
itself from being uprooted in strong winds. Tie the states loose enough
with flexible ties so that the tree can still move around in the wind,
but tight enough to hold it in place. As the tree grows, check the ties
and stakes frequently, and do not be kept them in place longer than one
Newly planted trees should not be
especially during the first year of growth after planting. Excessive
cutting or pruning can shock the tree and cause death.
Following these easy steps will ensure a healthy tree that will give
you many years of enjoyment.
About The Author:
Karole Dolen-Proffit is a website designer and freelance writer from Northern California. In addition to being a blessed member of a proud unschooling family, she runs several websites including http://unschoolers.com
, Your Go 2 Girl
, and http://moonriverdesigns.com
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