Correct and Incorrect Ways to Plant Trees or Shrubs
There’s more than you might think involved with planting trees and shrubs correctly, so as to give them the best chance to survive and eventually to thrive in their new environment. If you’ve ever planted a tree or shrub with high hopes, only to see it die out within a few months, you may have committed one of the cardinal errors of planting. Continue reading below to find out the best methods for planting, as well as some of the most common mistakes to avoid when putting in new trees and shrubs.
Mistakes to avoid
Planting a tree in the wrong spot can have a big impact on its eventual success, especially if it’s a tree which requires full sun and is unable to get sufficient sunshine where it’s planted. When planting, be sure to install the tree at ground level or slightly above, since planting it too deep will likely suffocate it, and cause the tree to die out fairly quickly. Also, don’t leave air pockets below the level of dirt when planting, because this can harm the tree’s growth.
The hole that you dig should be two or three times wider than the root ball of the tree, because roots will spread out to be several times wider than the canopy of the tree. When you’re finished planting, don’t pile mulch too high around it, because that’s another thing that might cause your tree to die. Also, resist the urge to fertilize your tree immediately after planting, because a newly planted tree simply does not need fertilizer. Wait a year and then apply fertilizer to see best results.
Proper planting methods
Start by digging a hole which is at least twice as wide as the root system for the tree, so the roots have plenty of room to spread out. Position your tree in the center of the hole, and make sure it’s facing in the direction where you can see the best side. Shovel some topsoil in around the tree ball and pack it firmly, so there are no air pockets around the ball. If you have soil conditioner or ‘tree food’, mix this in with your topsoil so that the tree roots have access to it from all sides around the ball.
Water the tree after it has been installed, and then pack one to three inches of mulch around the tree, in a diameter about three feet wide. It’s best if the mulch does not touch the trunk itself, so try to leave an area open around the trunk of your tree. If you do this properly, your tree will be able to receive water and retain it for a much longer period of time than if no mulch were placed there. The last step of your tree-planting process should be to secure the tree with stakes on three sides of the tree, and string which secures the tree to the stakes.
Be careful not to tie the string too tightly around the trunk, because that can actually strangle the tree and deprive it of needed nutrients. It should only be tied tightly enough that the tree can be kept upright when strong winds blow against it, so you won’t have it blown over or leaning in one direction. Now that your tree is in place, keep an eye on your weather, and if rainfall is not regular enough, make sure to water it at least every week, without drowning it.
Contact the experts
If you don’t trust yourself to properly install a valuable new tree or shrub, your best bet is to contact the experts, for instance, Hambleton Services, Inc. Offering the best lawn care service as well as general landscaping and tree-planting, Hambleton is North Carolina’s finest landscape design and installation service. Contact us with questions you might have about our services, or to set up a consultation about any kind of landscaping project you have in mind.