A yard isn’t complete without a few well-placed trees to offer shade, comfort and beauty to your home and property. But successfully planting a tree is about more than just digging a hole and adding water. There’s so much more to consider.
Here are some tips for planting new trees in your yard and for giving them the best possible start as they adapt to their new environment and spread their roots – quite literally.
Tips for Planting New Trees
When a tree is first planted, it’s going to need extra care and attention. To give it what it will need to thrive, you must first start by picking out the right type of tree for your yard – will it be in full sun, what type of foliage are you looking for, etc.? An expert at your garden center will be able to help you answer these questions.
Next, consider these factors when planting:
- Call before you dig – call your utility company before putting shovel to earth to make sure you won’t encounter any underground lines while planting.
- Dig big – while you might just have a small stick of a tree in your pot, the tree will grow, and grow, and grow. When planting, you must prepare for the eventuality of what this tree will become. Not only is this true for spacing purposes in your yard, but it is also important as you dig your hole in a way that will allow your tree to spread its roots and grow. Your hole should be at least 3 times (and up to 5 times) the width of the root ball but not too deep.
- Break up the root ball – before putting the tree in the ground, carefully loosen the roots and soil surrounding the root ball to give it freedom and encouragement to establish itself in the ground.
- Backfill with dirt – as you fill your hole, ensure the tree is level and positioned as you’d like it to be. Then fill the hole with the existing dirt you dug out. You could also consider adding compost or fertilizer.
- Stake and mulch – lastly you should stake your tree so it has added protection and reinforcement as it establishes itself in your yard. You’ll also want to add a wide layer of mulch to help insulate the ground and enable the soil to better retain moisture after watering.
- Water, water, water – as your tree gets established, you’ll want to give it long but slow waterings quite frequently. A slow, steady drip is better than pouring your entire water can on it in one fell swoop.
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