Spring is the best time to plant trees, with the world coming alive all around you. While homeowners may spend a lot of time choosing the right tree and digging the correct sized hole for their home, they often neglect to plan the site. Trees require specific site requirements before being given a home.
It isn’t like hanging a photograph. If you don’t do it right, it can be very expensive and difficult to move. These are the steps to help you plant a tree successfully.
Choose the right species for you yard.
Although it can be tempting just to choose the most beautiful tree at the nursery, looks don’t always matter. It is important to decide which type of tree is best suited for your climate, soil, growing conditions, and other factors.
Trees that need waterFull sunTo thrive, you need at least six hours of sunlight per day. Take a look at your yard to see how much shade it receives from trees and structures.
Consider the region’s needs.hardiness zoneThis is the standard that indicates which plants will thrive in a particular area. Refer to this link to determine the hardiness zone for your area.This Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Another important factor to be aware of before you plant isDrainage. Your yard may be sloped so trees and plants on the bottom will retain more water. This can lead to drainage problems. This is an important consideration when you decide on the water requirements of your future tree.
Thesoil chemistryThe tree’s natural habitat may be different on your property. You can get a soil test to determine the soil amendments needed for planting your tree.
Assess the structures that are currently in place
When it comes to planting trees on your property, foresight is your friend. Certain trees can quickly grow large and can cause problems down the line.
Space for growing is requiredTree planting is a complicated process. Poor placement could result in roots and branches growing too close to sidewalks, driveways, or structures. Underground plumbing or overhead power lines could also cause problems.
It is important to determine the tree’s height at maturity before you plant it. Also, know its crown spread, root space, and root spacing. Trees require more space than most people realize. This sizing guide can help you determine the minimum spacing needed depending on the tree’s mature size.
If in doubt, talk to your local nursery or tree supplier about how much space is required (vertical and horizontal). This will help you keep your tree healthy and safe.
Look both above and below
Remember to look both above and below before you plant. It is important to be awareUnderground utility lines and overhead power lines before you start digging.
To ensure that branches are safe from power lines, it is important to maintain tall trees. You and your utility company may have to deal with more work if you insist on persistent pruning. This can make the tree less attractive and less productive.
If a tall tree is planted under power lines, it can pose a danger to the public and cause major headaches for service providers. Don’t do it.
Another important consideration, but less obvious, is what’s happening below ground. The root spread of a tree is often greater than its canopy spread so it’s important to have more clearance.
Before digging, make sure to call your utility company. Inflicting injury on utility lines by mistake can result in service disruptions and serious injury. You should know where utility lines are located, mark them, and then plan to dig.
Seasonal thinking is key
The spring activities in your yard can be very different from those in the fall and winter. You can plant your tree year-round by thinking seasonally.
Take into account whether the tree isDeciduous or evergreenWhat problem can falling leaves and needles pose in this area? A deciduous tree is better if you want to shade the sun from the west.
How much sun?What is the average winter temperature at the site?
Will the tree produce messy sap or fruit?On sidewalks and driveways? It will be messy to clean up a fruit tree located near the sidewalk. A pine tree planted near your driveway could mean that your car is covered in sap at certain times of year.
Plan for the Future
Consider your long-term plans for the tree and your yard. Do you plan to build a shed or playhouse in the future? What size will the trees around you grow? Are you planning to put in a driveway? What will the tree shade your yard in 10 to 15 years?