Tree Planting | Planting Trees
Your tree planning project is well under way. The tree has been chosen, the site, free of obstructions has been chosen, the materials are in place, now what?
Dig the hole quite a bit wider than the root ball, but no deeper. This is to prevent settling. Remove the tree from the pot, if it is container grown. If the tree is really root bound, you may want to disturb the root ball a bit, by separating out some of the root a little or making a few slices. Don’t overdo it. Set the root ball in the hole very carefully, don’t strain your back, and watch out for that pesky limb that seems to want to slap you on the noggin.
Turn the tree so that the less developed side of the tree faces southward. This will help that side of the tree to better develop. If there is a decided curve in the trunk, orient the tree in such a way as to expose the part that is leaning away to the southern sunlight. This will aid in straightening the tree naturally.
Mix some soil and some mulch material together, and fill in around the sides of the tree.
Plumbing the tree
No, I am not talking about adding pipes to your tree. Make sure the tree is setting straight, that is, “plumb” in the hole. You can do this by using a level, or a plumb bob, or by looking at the tree from a distance to see if it is sitting straight compared to surrounding structures. You may need to rock the tree a little bit in one direction, filling or tamping the soil on the opposite side to bring it in line.
Back fill with the mix and tamp it firmly in.
Stimulating the roots
If you are using root stimulator, ( We think they are beneficial) follow the label directions for it’s use, build a small berm around the tree with the remaining soil, tamp it down, and water it in. Make sure you don’t have any air pockets, fill in where needed.
Staking your tree
If your tree needs to be staked, to keep it from being blown over in the wind, put at least two stakes down, by driving them into the ground at opposite sides, and at an angle away from the tree. Don’t put much pressure on the tree when you tie it off. I usually use a short length of garden hose, slid over the rope or cable, as a buffer between the tree and the rope. One thing you need to remember, especially if the tree isn’t always in plain sight, is, not to leave the rope on the tree so long that it grows into, or as we say, “girdles” the tree.
Build a berm for water
Use the berm you built as a reservoir to water the tree as needed, and try to maintain the berm until the tree is established.
Trimming the tree
For the final step, trim off any undesirable limbs or branches, and particularly anything damaged during the hauling or planting process. If there was significant root damage during the planting process, and the tree has foliage, trim some of the foliage to make up for any loss of root mass.
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