Planting and caring for a tree can be a rewarding lifelong process, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a daunting, difficult process. Keeping in mind a few simple rules and strategies and putting some thought into the placement and tree type, you should have a healthy, flourishing tree.
First of all, of course, you need to select the type of tree you are interested in growing in your yard. Things to consider are appearance, size, zone, and susceptibility to diseases. Keep in mind that certain species are slower growing than others, but usually these species are more resilient and have larger crowns. A good example is most maple species as opposed to Quaking Aspen.
There are some important things to keep in mind when choosing where to place your trees: direction of the sun for shade placement, wind speeds, size and height of your tree in relation to the surrounding environment, and of course nearby utilities or power lines. These can be very property-specific considerations, and it never hurts to ask for help.
You can always contact us at (208) 362-4478 or (208) 788-4441. We are always happy to offer advice on this or any tree-care related matter. Talk to your local arborists and nurseries as well.
Once you have taken all the above things into consideration, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Literally. Your first going to want to dig a broad, shallow hole. You want the whole between two and three times as wide as the root ball, and the deep enough as to leave just the trunk flare visible. The trunk flare is where the trunk begins to branch off into the root system.
Step 1: Dig a hole that is the same depth as the container that the tree arrived in. Make sure you have dug 3 or 4 times the width of the container. Nice sloping sides allows for proper root development.
Step 2: Lay the tree on its side and tap the outside of the container to loosen it for removal. Try to keep as much of the soil in place as possible.
Step 3: If the roots look tightly bound and circular you need to cut the sides of the root ball and cut an X across the bottom. This process prevents a rootbound tree and encourages proper root growth for stability and nutrient and water acquisition.
Step 4: Place the tree in the center of the hole taking care to not plant too deep. The root collar which is the area where the roots meets the main stem or trunk, typified by a flared appearance. Unlike roots which are specialized to resist soil moisture, the trunk can be damaged by it. The root collar is considered part of the trunk and therefore should not be buried under soil or mulch. This can lead to root collar disorders. Backfill the hole until it is just below the root collar. Firmly pack the soil to secure the tree but avoid compaction. Prune away any dead branches and remove all tags or labels.
Step 5- Create a shallow water holding basin by elevating the edge of the planting hole. Water thouroughly and top dress with 2-3 inches mulch or compost avoiding the trunk of the tree.
Fertilizer: Absolutely do not use fertilizers or chemicals on your newly planted tree. Instead we recommend one of our natural products from our sister company balanced earth. Our Alpine Custom Blend product will feed the very important soil food web. Our A75 Bio-Mineral Tea will provide trace minerals and other nutrition and our MycorTea will help enhance the establishment of the tree by aiding the root system to gather nutrients.
Trees that are balled and burlapped:
Step 1: Follow the same procedure for digging a hole as a containerized tree.
Step 2: When setting the tree in the center of the hole be sure to handle by the root ball and not the trunk. Pay attention to the depth of the hole making sure the root collar is at or above ground level.
Step 3: Once you have positioned the tree, cut the wire basket and peel it away from the ball. Remove any rope, twine or nails that may have been used in securing the ball. Pull the burlap off and cut away any loose material. The burlap can remain under the ball unless it is treated then it is best to remove it.
Step 4: Backfill and firmly pack the soil. Create a water basin and thoroughly water the tree. Then top dress with compost or mulch.
Fertilizer: Absolutely do not use fertilizers or chemicals on your newly planted tree. Instead we recommend one of our natural products from our sister company balanced earth. Our Alpine Custom Blend product will feed the very important soil food web. Our A75 Bio-Mineral Tea will provide trace minerals and other nutrition and our mycorTea will help enhance the establishment of the tree by aiding the root system to gather nutrients.
Watering: The soil and compost should be kept moist but not soggy during the first year. Deep root watering every 8-10 days during very hot, dry weather. Water adequately, but be cautious of overwatering. See here for more info.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your tree planting.