Trees are a beautiful and desirable part of almost any landscape. They provide comfortable shade, protect against soil erosion, and can even contribute to the energy efficiency of a home. Additionally, trees are beautiful and can make any landscape attractive. Any home with a nice, attractive, well-maintained tree on its property enjoys increased property value. But in order to enjoy a tree, it must first be properly planted.
Buying Tree Plantings
There are three main ways that plantings can be bought; subsequently, there are different ways to plant them. You may plant a bare root tree, a container tree, or a ball and burlap tree. Each of these types of seedling set-ups requires a different technique in planting. However, it is very possible to do this planting yourself, saving money and keeping within a reasonable budget.
Planting a bare root tree. This is a tree moved from one location to another (dug up and transplanted).
The first thing you should do is make sure you have the proper tools: a garden fork, a shovel, two wooden stakes, tree ties, and mulch. Use a shovel to mark out the area of the planned hole. This hole should be at least twice the diameter of the tree’s root system.
Once you have the area marked out, with a shallow hole already dug within the markings, use the garden fork to scarify the edges of the hole. This action loosens the soil and will make it easier for the roots to properly expand.
In the center of your hole, build a small mound. Then place the two stakes into the ground on opposite sides of the mound. The stakes act as stabilizers and supports to the tree as it works to establish itself.
You should try to make sure that you plant the tree at the same depth at which it was planted before. Spread the roots over the mound.
Next, add enough soil to support the tree (but not fill up the hole) and then spray the area with water. Backfill the hole with a little more soil, add water again. Then repeat two or three more times, completely filling in the hole.
Tamp the soil down to get rid of air pockets surrounding the tree’s roots. If your climate is dry, or if water drains away quickly, a moat should be dug around the tree to retain water. Fasten the tree ties to the stakes and the tree, not too tightly, to ensure that the tree receives adequate support for its first year in the new area.
Two to four inches of mulch should be applied around the planting area, but be sure that the mulch does not touch the tree trunk. The tree should be watered well and the soil kept moist for the next year.
Planting a container tree. This type of tree is often found at nurseries, coming in a pot or other plastic container.
Like with a bare root tree, it is necessary to have a shovel, garden fork, stakes, tree ties, and mulch. Then, using the container as a guide, mark out the planting using the shovel.
The hole will need to be right around three times the width of the container. The hole should be about one and a half times as deep as the height of the pot. After the hole has been properly dug, use the garden fork to scarify the hole’s sides.
Pound the two stakes (preferably cedar) into the ground angled outward. There should be enough room between the stakes for the root ball to fit.
Water the tree in its container, and then gently lay it on its side. Remove the pot and gently tease the roots out with your hands. A small cultivator would also work.
Backfill some of the soil into the hole. Place the tree in the center of the hole. Make sure that the edge of the hole is level with the height of the container. It may be necessary to add soil until this level is achieved.
After the tree is at the correct height, fill in the hole with soil, tamping it down as you go. Dig a moat if needed.
Use your tree ties and apply mulch in much the same manner as the bare root tree. The tree will need to be kept moist for a year while it establishes itself.
Planting a ball and burlap tree (root ball surrounded by burlap sack).
This planting technique requires only a shovel, garden fork, mulch and scissors (or a knife).
Dig a hole, much like with the container tree, of three times the root ball’s width. The hole should only be as deep as ball, however. Scarify the hole’s sides.
Place the tree in the hole and use the scissors to remove twine or wire from the ball.
Remove the burlap altogether if it is synthetic. If it is natural, loosen the top layer and roll it down to the base of the ball.
Fill in the hole and mulch, caring for it as other newly planted trees.