Spring is an excellent time to plant trees. Whether you are planting a showy crabapple, a big spruce or a shady grove of aspen trees, the following tips will give newly planted trees the best chance for success:
· Carefully choose the right site. Ensure the spot you want to plant a tree will accommodate its eventual size. The cute little Colorado spruce you purchased in a 5 gallon pot will not seem that cute anymore when it’s 20 feet tall and blocking your Teton views!
· Not too deep, not too shallow. Renting a backhoe to dig some planting holes? Great, but beware of plunging your tree too deeply into the earth. The top of the root ball should be level with the top of your planting hole. Dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball. This allows for proper oxygen exchange and drainage.
· Amend the soil. Adding a soil amendment (like compost or bark and steer) to the soil as you backfill around your tree will provide nutrients to the roots and help retain soil moisture.
· Mulch. Cover the top of the root ball with 2-3 inches of mulch, being careful to keep the mulch pulled away from the main trunk. Mulch helps young trees by moderating soil temperatures, retaining soil moisture and suppressing weeds. Form the mulch into a ring around the root ball to create a built-in saucer that captures water and keeps it over the root zone.
· To stake or not? New trees benefit from staking especially in windy areas or if the tree is top heavy. Two or three stakes should be installed around the tree. Secure the trunk with a broad tree strap or a loop of old garden hose. Never tie directly to the trunk with rope, twine or wire as this will damage the trunk and possibly girdle and kill the tree. Fasten the trunk to the stakes loosely enough to allow some trunk movement. This helps to develop a stronger trunk. Remove the stakes after the tree can stand up on its own, usually in one or two seasons.
· Mycorrhizae. This naturally occurring beneficial fungus helps a tree’s roots grow bigger allowing for better moisture and nutrient uptake. Although it exists in the soil, the addition of supplemental mycorrhizae like Myke™ will increase a tree’s survival rate.
· Fertilizer. Newly planted trees benefit from a mild fertilizer to help form roots. We recommend Fertilome™ Root Stimulator.
· Water. This is vital to any tree’s survival. A deep thorough soaking about once a week for the first season will promote deep rooting. The soil should be moistened at least 8 inches under the surface. The easiest way to do this is to place a slow trickling garden hose alongside the trunk. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation are also excellent ways to deliver water to the root zone. Irrigation systems designed for lawns may not deliver enough water to the root zone as these are set up for frequent, shallow watering. Frequent, shallow watering will only promote shallow roots. Deep, infrequent soakings will promote deep roots, allowing trees to establish faster and become more drought resistant.
· Guarantied success! We offer a five year warranty on trees planted using Myke™ mycorrhizae for transplanting.