Planting a tree can serve several purposes; add beauty to your yard, act as a barrier, increase property value, erosion control or provide wildlife food and habitat. However, before you buy a tree there are several things to consider. You have to make the commitment to plant it properly and take care of it until it gets established. Here are some tips.
Before choosing a tree there are a few things to consider:
- Use of the tree - Will the purpose be for shade, adding privacy or windbreak?
- Aesthetics - Spring flowering? Year-round or fall leaf color?
- Size - Tall or short? Crown width? What will fit best when tree is at mature size?
- Zone Hardy - Make sure the tree is hardy for the zone in which you live.
- Soil Conditions - Do you have sandy, loamy or clay soil? What needs to be done to amend the soil?
- Light Conditions – Will the tree get more sun or more shade?
Planting and care of your tree:
- Call Diggers Hotline, (800) 242-8511 in Wisconsin, before beginning to have underground utilities located.
- Dig a hole at least two times wider than the root ball or pot the tree came in.
- Loosen the sides and bottom of roots, especially if roots are circling. This will encourage roots to grow outward.
- Place root ball in the hole keeping the trunk flare slightly above ground level to allow for soil settling. Top of roots should be covered by 1-2 inches of soil.
- Fill hole with amended soil consisting of 1/3 soil dug out of hole, 1/3 compost and 1/3 peat. Tamp soil gently to fill possible air spaces, or water as you fill soil to eliminate air pockets.
- Top with 2-3 inches of mulch being careful to keep two inch clearance around trunk of tree.
- Water regularly the first year. Top 10-12 inches of soil should be kept moist, but not soggy.
Following these simple tips will keep you enjoying your tree for your lifetime.