Learning Center: Tree Care and Planting
Planting a tree is a great way to add value to your property. But before you dash off to the local nursery, take the time to think about where the tree will be planted and what species will do best in this location.
Choosing a Tree
As with any other plant, different trees have different needs. Conditions that one tree loves might be the death of another variety of tree. Does your desired location have a lot of sun or shade? Will the new tree have to compete for light? Is there ample room for it to grow vertically?
Once you’ve given these aspects some thought, it’s time to select your tree.
Planting a Tree
Time of year is crucial to making sure your new tree gets off on the right foot. Fall is the best time for planting, as the weather tends to be cooler and more humid.
TIP: Give your local utility company a call before you start digging to make sure there aren’t any underground lines in the area you’ve selected.
Once you’ve chosen a location, draw a circle or square around the area at least three times the size of the root ball. Dig out this marked-off area, making sure not to dig any deeper than the level of the top of the root ball.
Now, add 25 percent by volume of peat, compost or aged manure to the backfill soil. Remove any covering from the root ball, place it in the hole and then fill in the area with your soil mixture. Water the soil with a gentle stream or light mist so as not to wash the new soil away.
Caring for a New Tree
Resist the urge to over water — too much water forces air out of the soil and causes the roots to suffocate. If there is a dead or diseased branch, feel free to prune, otherwise try to leave the foliage alone as much as possible. It’s also best to wait to add fertilizer until the following spring so as not to damage the young roots.
Finish the job by covering the base of your new tree with 3 to 4 inches of mulch to keep the soil from losing its moisture too quickly.
Have any questions? No problem! The experts here at Fit Turf will be happy to assist.