Category Archives: Trees

Tree Planting | Planting Trees

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?

Start digging!

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.

Tree orientation

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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Tree Care Tree Pruning | Pruning Your Trees

Tree Care Tree Pruning | Pruning Your Trees

When it comes time to prune a tree, you should arm yourself with a few facts before you start. You should know and understand your trees growth habit, understand the proper way of pruning, and above all, assure your own safety.

Know your trees natural growth habit.

Trees are genetically predisposed to certain shapes. finding your trees natural shape will give you a lot to go by. If it is naturally conical, it will continue to grow into that shape, no matter what you do. If the tree has a rounded habit, it will grow rounded. Study the tree and learn it’s natural shape.

Prune to a lateral branch.

If you need to thin the branches a little, that is no problem. Find the base of the unruly branch.

Make a clean cut just outside the callous

You will notice some callous at the base of the connection. make your cut just outside of this. This area of your tree contains a lot of growth producing cells. When you remove the branch, the cells will kick in quickly to start the recovery process. This will be seen in the form of more callous.

Large Oak Tree

Ragged edges slow healing and invite disease. Never cut part of a branch off and leave the rest sticking out. If you do, this will allow the remaining part of the branch to die back, inviting disease and insects into the tree. eventually it will rot away, leaving a knot hole which will allow water inside to further degrade the infrastructure of the tree. Always cut back to a base or a lateral branch.

Support the branches you remove.

As you prune, make sure the branch you are taking off is supported, so that it won’t peel away your trees bark. If it is to heavy, tie it off, or use a three cut method. That is, make your first cut several inches away from the lateral branch, so that the majority of the weight is removed before you make the final cut. You should also make a cut underneath and closer to the tree than the first, so that if it starts to peel bark, it will stop when it reaches this cut.

Do not use pruning paint.

Do not use pruning paint! I know you have always been told to, but don’t do it. The materials in the paint will not allow for the proper healing of the wound. the callous will only develop where there is no paint.

Do not top or “pollard” a tree

Why not top? If you top a tree, you will notice a sudden burst of young tender growth in the spring. Some people think this indicates a healthy tree. In actuality, it is the trees last ditch effort at survival. It is a mode similar to a human being gasping for air. The new growth will be poorly connected, and will be easy prey to insects, fungus, and disease.

Now, if you have any doubts about the truth of what I am saying, just walk around your neighborhood for a while with what I have said implanted in your mind. You will immediately see the truth of what I am saying. It is self evident.


  1. Know your trees natural growth habit.
  2. When you prune, prune to a lateral branch.
  3. Make a clean cut.
  4. Cut just outside the callous of the limb or branch connection.
  5. Never leave stubs or nubs of branches. (Number 4 above.)
  6. Support the branch being removed. Make three cuts if needed.
  7. Do not use pruning paint.

Safety first!

Be sure to wear your protective gear, so you don’t saw off the wrong limb! Keep an eye out for low hanging power lines and avoid getting close to them with your equipment. Avoid any situation where a limb, or any other part of the tree could fall on you.