I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree. – Joyce Kilmer
Few landscape additions return so much to you, your yard, your streetscape, your environment and your wallet. Trees are decorative accents, many with fragrant blooms. Billowing canopies provide summer shade that can lower cooling costs, and the sun-dappled ground under the leafy umbrellas adds texture and depth to any landscape. Leaves give off oxygen, roots anchor earth to insulate against erosion, and the sheer beauty of a tree is, as Kilmer wrote, one of nature’s most endearing poems.
Local nurseries can help you choose the best tree for the growing conditions specific to your landscape (soil, amount of direct sunlight, the ground’s natural moisture content, tree height at maturity, ease of care, vulnerability to pests, etc.).
When to Plant
Timing depends on the type of environment the tree will enhance. In “wild” settings or areas being reforested, the dormant months during winter are best. Trees for residential and commercial landscapes fare well when planted any time of the year.
How to Plant
Treat the tree with respect – carry it by the bottom or by the container, never by the trunk. And protect the roots from heat and direct sunlight before it’s planted.
Prepare to plant your tree with the appropriate size trench. Dig a bowl-shaped hole that is only as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. Save the dirt for backfill and do not add mulch, peat, compost or other soft materials, which retard root growth and can produce gases that harm the roots. Do not add fertilizer. Instead, just loosen the dirt in the hole.
Remove the burlap wrap or container and place the tree in the hole, but make sure the surface of the root ball is level with the ground. Tightly pack dirt around the tree and water well.
Tending the Nursery
Adequate water is critical for the first year until the roots are well developed. As with the entire landscape, apply enough water to reach deep into the ground. Avoid more frequent, shallow irrigations that don’t reach the roots and instead encourage them to stay closer to the surface.
Mulching around the tree will help retain moisture and allow nutrients to seep slowly into the ground. Keep mulch from touching the trunk, though, which can promote mold growth. When your tree is about a year old, it’s mature enough to safely be fertilized. Read and respect the instructions.
My Botanica is your source of environmentally sensitive products to treat your tree as the family member it is. Our team is always available to help with information about how to create and care for a picture-perfect landscape. Please call toll free 1-888-722-4308.