How to plant a tree
Plant a tree properly. It’s amazing how many folks do not know how to plant a tree the correct way. Depending on the size trees can cost upwards of $300.00 dollars or more.
These tips are designed for those who are looking to do it yourself. Remember planting trees that are in a small one-gallon container is the same principle as planting a 20-gallon tree.
It is a good idea to hire qualified local landscapers for trees that are larger than 40 gallons. A tree that large may require heavy equipment such as a back-hole or Bobcat.
Follow these steps below to help ensure a long-lasting healthy beautiful tree or shrub.
Digging a hole is not rocket science but you will need the right information if you want it done correctly.
Be sure to inspect the area before digging. The last thing you want is to break a drip or sprinkler system! You will need a shovel, pick and access to water nearby. Never loosen the soil from a tree that is in a container. Exposing the entire root system will stress the tree and could kill or prevent it from growing correctly. Remove rocks, weeds or anything that would impede the growth of tree roots.
When is the right time to plant a tree?
In the Southwest, the ideal time to plant your tree or shrub is in early spring or fall. However, you can plant your tree in containers any time of the year. But in mid-summer, you will have to apply more water than what is required during the spring seasons. The only problem with planting in mid-winter is battling the cold weather and the hard ground!
Before digging into the ground make sure there are no drip or water lines in the area. Call local utilities to check for underground cables or utility lines. Or just dial 811 for further information.
If you have any questions about trees, plants or shrubs in general, please do NOT hesitate to contact us right here. Contact Us.
How deep and how wide should we dig to plant a tree? Good Question. See image below
Plant a tree properly
We are going to plant a Eucalyptus tree. Be sure you have the right tree or shrub for your landscape or space.
Remember to use trees that are suitable for your area. Also, be sure to place plants with similar watering needs together.
When planting trees always dig a hole about 6-12″ wider than the pot and do not go deeper than the depth of the container.
Try to handle the tree or shrub by the container or stake. Too deep and you smother the tree trunk, too shallow and the root system will be exposed.
Carefully remove the tree or shrub from the container. Tap the pot with your fist or use a small hammer to loosen the container from the root ball.
Do NOT remove the soil from the roots. Doing so may “stress the tree”.
Place the plant or tree in the hole making sure it is level and straight with the surrounding landscape. We are not doing rocket science here, use common sense when planting.
Backfill the hole with about 50% your native soil and 50% organic compost, and top it with organic mulch or bark.
Mulch will help retain water and help with root development. Compost does have some fertilizer qualities. It is best to wait 2-3 weeks before starting a fertilizer schedule.
Make a dirt or compost border around the tree or shrub and fill with water.
Use about 4-5 tbs of root stimulator to about 1 gallon of water. You can also use vitamin B1 for root development.
These products are not a form of fertilizer. They are used for root development. Ask for these products at your local nursery.
How to plant a tree properly
Most trees and or shrubs require quite a bit of water when first planted. Soak thoroughly the first day but make sure it drains well. Remember to use some type of root stimulator as this will help stimulate new root growth.
Water at least every day for the first 2-3 weeks even more during the hot southwestern months typically May thru August. Then cut back to about every other day depending on the type of tree or plant you have.
Remember to use mulch on the plant or tree to minimize evaporation. Mulch should be added on top of the soil. This will also help cool the soil and reduce weeds during summer time.
Follow this rule in regards to tree growth. The first year it’s slow, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps!
Color Your World and Guzman’s Greenhouse does offer delivery and planting services if they are purchased at one of our stores.
Plant a tree properly
A few other things to consider. If your tree comes in burlap with the wire you should remove the wire. However, the burlap can stay but it’s best to cut holes in the burlap to allow the roots to shoot through. Removing the burlap completely is a good idea but in doing so may cause the soil to fall apart, thus causing the root system to be exposed. If your root system is exposed your tree or plant might get stressed out.
What about trees that are root bound?
Container trees can become root bound if they stay in a container for too long. This is also called root strangulation or girdling roots. They best thing to do is to remove the container and cut the root system from about half way down. Use a good spade shovel or a sharp knife to do this. See image below.
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com