There’s nothing like a lush green canopy that provides shade, invites wildlife and lifts the spirits. But before enjoying the fruits of your labor, you need to make sure that the trees planted today will remain part of the landscape for years to come. For best results, follow the do’s and don’ts when planting trees.
Choose a tree for a specific purpose: You may be looking for shade, sound barriers, privacy, increased property value, lush fall colors, spring flowers, fruit, or many other perks. Choose your tree accordingly.
Plant plants to save energy: On the south side of the property is a deciduous tree with large crowns providing shade to the windows and roof throughout the afternoon. Deciduous trees with low crowns are ideal on the west side of the building to block the late afternoon sun. The small evergreen trees on the west and north sides of the site act as a windbreak in winter. Check out our brother brand for additional energy saving tips.
Carefully dig and prepare the hole: Contact your utility company and have them list the locations of your subway lines. If you damage the line while digging, you are likely to be held liable. When preparing the site, excavate an area three times the diameter of the tree’s root ball. Dig deep enough to equal the depth of the root ball in sandy soil. Dig 2 to 4 inches shallower in clayey soil. Add old manure or compost to the excavated soil equal to 25% of the total volume of the excavated soil. Mix well and use this as a backfill.
Plant at the right time: Cool, cloudy and humid fall weather is perfect for planting trees. If you have a tree but can’t plant it right away, store it in a cool, shaded area and keep the roots moist. The night before planting, soak the bare roots in a bucket of water.
Set up your tree for success: Remove the plastic or metal container from the root ball before planting. Tear the side of the fiber port. Remove the burlap and rope tied to the torso. Cut the reinforcing wire. Finally, the roots are “cut off” but the root mass should remain intact.
Do not plant large trees in a small area: All young trees are small, but some varieties grow taller than others. Before choosing an area to plant, think about the tree’s mature size. Examine a tree branch that hasn’t hit a phone line or building in 10 years.
Don’t choose a tree just because it grows quickly: Trees can reach their mature size faster, but slow-growing trees are stronger and less susceptible to storm damage. The instant gratification of a fast-growing tree may not be worth it.
Do not over-fertilize: Do not put fertilizer in the planting hole as it can cause root damage. Wait until spring to lightly fertilize young trees.
Do not trample the soil after planting the tree: When most of the backfill is in place and the roots are completely covered, water the tree with low water pressure or a bubbler. Let the water settle the soil, not your feet. Add more backfill if soil sinks down the slope.
Do not water inappropriately: Immediately after planting the tree, it is important to have a place where water permeates well, but from this time on, do not water frequently or deeply. Too much water will drown the roots, and light and frequent watering will lead to shallow roots. Water continuously during the warm, dry periods of fall and winter to prevent drought damage.