Are you considering a tree for your yard? What type of tree would you like, and what will its purpose be? Trees can shade windows in the summer to reduce air conditioning costs, add value to your lot, and add an aesthetic enhancement, to name a few.
Though there are various aspects to consider, this article will focus on two of the most important requirements when selecting a tree for your space: the amount of space you can allocate for it and the amount of water your tree should receive.
Consider Power Lines
We’ve all seen those trees that have been ‘topped’ to ‘fit’ under power lines. Wouldn’t it have been better to have chosen a tree that would have grown within those height requirements in the first place, or not have planted a large tree under the power lines? By making an informed decision, you can save quite a bit of money from maintenance alone.
Determine Space Requirement
In terms of space, you will want a tree that, when mature, will ‘fit’ into its’ space in terms of mature height and width. If the tree you’re considering will be too large for the space you’ve allocated, consider a dwarf variety that may be smaller, or choose a different type of tree that will fit in the space you’ve selected.
Check with your local nursery to understand a potential tree’s mature size and how it will do in your local climate. If you’re planting more than one tree together, ensure you follow the grower’s recommended spacing requirements.
Although they may look better closer together when the trees are very young, it could very well become a maintenance nightmare and often results in a minimum of one tree being removed once mature. It’s best to do it right from the very beginning.
Consider Watering Needs
How much water? It’s best to select a tree that is native to your area and could survive on the local rainfall. However, if it’s going to be in an area combined with plants that are regularly watered, such as a lawn, ensure the tree will tolerate this amount of water. Ideally, your tree will be planted so that it can survive with minimal supplemental irrigation to conserve resources
Pick a site that is in full sun where the water does not puddle after a rainstorm. Determine that the site will accommodate the tree at its full, mature size. Consider nearby buildings, garden beds, and other trees, and how they and your newly-planted tree will impact each other at maturity. Once you have planted the tree and it starts growing up, then you should call professionals such as tree trimmers for tree trimming and pruning.
Dig Hole with Twice Width
Dig a hole twice the width and depth of the root ball. Use the garden fork to loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole. Mix the soil you removed from the hole with approximately one-fourth its volume of peat moss and compost combined. Use this improved soil when planting the tree.
Add Soil at The Bottom
Add some of the improved soil to the bottom of the hole, enough to bring the level up so that the tree, when planted, will be growing at the same level at which it was previously growing. An easy way to determine this level is to look for the point on the lower trunk where the color changes. The lighter colored bark should remain above ground and the darker bark below ground.
Remove any wrappings from the tree’s roots or remove them from the pot. Carefully position the roots on top of the mound of soil you added previously. Spread out the roots, so they are growing out from the center of the tree toward the perimeter of the hole. Add a few shovelfuls of soil, firming it down gently with your foot as you go.
Fill up the partially filled hole with water, allow it to drain away, and then repeat. Finish filling up the hole with the soil, gently firming it down as you go. Form a ridge of soil around the outside edge of the planting hole using your hands.
This will act as a dam, keeping the water from running off, away from the tree’s roots. Set a hose with a small trickle of water on the planting hole and allow it to thoroughly water in the new tree for at least one hour.
Apply a 3-inch deep organic mulch, such as wood chips or shredded bark. Keep the mulch at least 6-inches away from the trunk of the tree to discourage pests from taking up residence there.
Fertilize unless you are planting in autumn, as new growth may not harden up enough to survive winter if fertilized then. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to the correct application rate. Use regular all-purpose granular fertilizer or tree spikes, inserted into the soil near the root zone.