Trees are a wonderful addition to any garden. There are so many types of trees and they all offer different benefits to your garden, environment and eco system. If you have a small garden you can grow dwarf trees. If you need shade pick trees that grow tall with a large canopy. If you want to grow your own fruit their are a wide variety of fruit trees to choose from. There is a tree perfect for every garden and gardener!
When picking the right tree there are several questions you need to ask yourself:
Size. Do you have enough space to grow this tree?
Roots. Will the root system cause damage if planted to close to structures?
Flower. Do you want your tree to bloom and for how long? What kinds of blooms do you want?
Seed. Does the tree drop tons of seed everywhere and is it invasive?
Seasonal Color: Do you want colorful fall foliage?
Maintenance. How much work is needed to keep this tree healthy?
Hardiness. Will this tree survive and thrive in my garden zone?
If you need help finding your gardening zone read this post!
“The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Here are the steps on how to plant a tree:
- Choosing the right location. Choose a location that gets full sun or partial shade. The tree should be planted away from sidewalks, driveways, and other areas where people and vehicles might walk or drive. It’s also important to make sure the tree is planted in an area where it will have enough room to grow. So many badly planted trees have ruined homes and sidewalks.
- Prepare the soil. The soil should be loose and well-drained. If the soil is compacted, loosen it with a shovel or garden fork. If the soil is poor, add some compost or other organic matter to improve it.
- Dig the hole. The hole should be two to three times wider than the root ball of the tree. The depth of the hole should be the same as the depth of the root ball.
- Remove the tree from the pot or burlap. If the tree is in a pot, gently tip the pot on its side and slide the tree out. If the tree is in burlap, cut the burlap away from the root ball.
- Place the tree in the hole. Center the tree in the hole and make sure the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding soil.
- Backfill the hole. Fill the hole with soil, tamping it down gently as you go.
- Water the tree. Water the tree thoroughly until the soil is saturated.
- Mulch around the tree. Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the tree, being careful to keep the mulch away from the trunk. Adding too much mulch around the trunk can cause rot and kill your tree.
- Water the tree regularly. Water the tree deeply and regularly, especially during the first year after planting.
- Fertilize. Make sure to fertilize your tree if and when necessary. Do your research! Fertilizer is not a one size fits all.
“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”― Hal Borland
Extra tips for planting trees:
- Plant the tree in the spring or fall when the weather is cool and moist.
- Avoid planting a tree on a windy day.
- If you are planting a tree in a windy area, stake it for support.
- Protect the tree from animals by installing a fence or barrier around it.
- Fertilize the tree in the spring and fall with a balanced fertilizer based on your specific trees needs.
- Prune the tree as needed to maintain its shape and size.
They say the best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago and the next best time is today. So get out there and plant some trees!