Are you considering planting a new tree? Read on.
Planting a new tree is a major investment, so you will want to get it right. While planting a tree may sound easy (just dig a hole, put it in and cover it up again, right?), there is actually a lot you need to consider and some major pitfalls to avoid.
Make a plan
Before you go and buy your favourite tree from the nursery, make a plan. Research what tree is right for your situation. Do you want the tree for shade, wind blockage, or to be a decorative centerpeice? How big will the tree get? Will the roots cause problems with any drainage systems or foundations? Will the canopy start to interfere with the roof or cars in the driveway? These are all critical factor to consider and resolve before you move on. Go outside, mark the location where you were thinking to put the tree and take some measurements. You might be surprised how far your new tree will stretch when mature. Many homeowners plant new trees far too close to their homes.
Prepare the site
Once you have finished your research, purchased the ideal tree, and marked the correct spot that works for your new tree now AND in 50 years when it is fully grown, you are ready to dig. The size and depth of the whole is determined by the size of the root ball. Ideally you want to have your hole’s width be twice the size of the root ball. This ensures that your tree’s roots have plenty of room to develop.
1) Digging too deep. When you plant a tree too deep, the soil can become too compacted around the base of the trunk, preventing oxygen from penetrating the soil. Ultimately this can girdle the roots and effectively choke the tree.
2) Failing to remove the burlap and rope materials wrapped around the root ball. You might see city workers plopping in trees like this, but we don't recommend it. Anything wrapped around the root ball can interfere with it, adding stress and interrupting the root system.
3) Volcano mounding: adding soil or mulching around the base of your tree in a mound (like a volcano) can damage your tree
Now that your tree is in the ground it is time to water it. Use the size of the trunk’s diameter to determine how much water to give. In general your new tree needs about 4-6L of water per inch of trunk diameter. Pour the water directly over the root ball, slow enough that the water can be absorbed. Check your soil at least once per week. Dig down 4 inches - if the soil is dry, you need more water. If the soil still feels damp, watering is not necessary. Planting a tree is a complex process where a lot of mistakes can be made. These mistakes result in poor tree health or even the death of the tree. We encourage everyone to learn how to properly plant more trees to add to their landscape. Use the information in this article or give us a call - we'll be happy help you at any step in the process.