Landscaping……Do’s & Dont’s
If you have a garden in your front or backyard, you may enjoy having different kinds of vegetation in it including flowers and trees. Trees in particular will bring not only joy to you and your family, but have additional benefits such as cleaning the air, providing oxygen, cooling the streets, invite wildlife and prevent erosion.
But planting a tree isn’t as simple as digging a hole and throwing the tree into it. You need to consider your land, the climate where you live, what plants are suitable to your local area, and other factors such as zoning laws before you can plant any trees. By taking the time to think about these factors, you will be able to successfully plant and enjoy a tree or trees for years to come.
Part 1 of 4: Deciding What Kind of Tree to Plant
- Consider your goal. Before you begin the process of planting a tree or trees, first consider your ultimate goal. Do you want to add a couple of trees to your property to give it greater curb appear and increase the value of your home? Or maybe you just want the pure enjoyment of seeing the tree grow and invite wildlife such as birds to sit on its branches. Knowing what you want in planting a tree will help you make the best decisions about everything from what kind of tree best suits your needs to where to plant it.
- Think about your local climate. You’ll need to think about the weather in your local area before planting a tree to make sure that you get a species that will survive and thrive in your garden or yard. Using the Plant Hardiness Zone scale can help not only identify your local climate, but also the best types of trees to plant.
- Consider your land. You’ll also want to consider the terrain on your property before you plant a tree. Factors such as slope, neighbors, drainage and erosion can have an impact on what trees will thrive on your land.
- Check local laws for digging holes and planting trees. Most communities will have zoning laws about trees and digging holes on properties within its borders. It’s important to check these laws to make sure that you are able to dig and plant trees. If not, the community may not only prevent you from planting the tree, but also force you to pay fines.
- Talk to a professional. If you have any questions or are unsure about something related to planting a tree, talk to a professional arborist in your area. Consulting with someone who understands your wishes and local conditions can help you find the best trees to plant.
- Buy your tree. After you’ve done the background work on your climate, land, and zoning laws, you’re ready to buy a tree to plant. Purchase a suitable tree for the region, climate, and your yard.
Part 2 of 4: Preparing to Plant a Tree
- Select the right time of year for planting the tree. You want to give your plant the best chance at growing and surviving. Planting at the right time of year is a key factor in this. Planting times will vary depending on the plant and where you live.
- You will usually want to plant your tree when it is dormant, or not flowering, during cooler or colder times of year. Again, this will vary depending on where you live.
- Prepare the tree for planting. Once you’ve purchased your tree, you need to prepare it for planting. This will help ensure that you’re planting the tree properly and that it will survive. The process is slightly different for a small tree and a large tree.
- Know that if you are planting a tree from the seed of a fruit that you will not get the same kind of tree. For example, if you are planting a seed from a Golden Delicious apple, you won’t necessarily get a Golden Delicious apple tree. You’ll only be able to tell once the tree fruits.
Part 3 of 4: Planting a Tree
- Decide where you want to plant it and mark it. Once you’ve had a chance to look at your land and think about what your goal is, you can decide on a spot to plant your tree. Mark this spot with a bright and wide circle.
- Measure the root ball. Before you start digging the hole to plant your tree, measure the plant’s root ball. This will tell you how deep you need to dig the hole.
- Prepare the hole for the tree. Using a shovel, dig the hole in which you’ll plant your tree. You want to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate the tree’s size and give it plenty of room to grow and take root.
- Place the tree into the hole gently. The time has finally come to plant your tree. After you’ve carefully prepared the hole, place the tree gently into its new home. If it doesn’t fit, remove it and adjust the size of the hole.
- Position the tree. When the tree is in the hole, identify its best face and turn it in the direction you want. Taking this step will make sure that you can enjoy how the tree looks and also make sure your tree has its best face forward.
- Backfill the hole. Using a mixture of compost and the soil you dug out while you prepared the hole, backfill (or refill) the hole. Make sure you have enough soil to support the roots while giving them room to grow.
- Stake the tree if necessary. If your tree is still a sapling, use a stake to help it grow for about the first year of its life This will keep the tree from blowing over in the wind and allow the roots to become established.
Part 4 of 4: Caring for Your Tree
- Water the newly planted tree. Once the tree is planted, water it and keep up a regular schedule of watering. This will help the roots become established in the surrounding soil.
- Use mulch. Considering adding a layer of mulch around your tree to help keep moisture in and weeds out.
- Prune the tree if necessary. If there are any broken, dead, or diseased limbs on your tree, remove them gently with a knife or gardening shears. If there is nothing wrong with the tree, there is no need to prune it until after the first growing season.
- Enjoy the tree as it grows over the years. Appreciate its shade and beauty and thank yourself for adding another tree to the world. You won’t regret it and as long as you properly care for it, the tree can grow a long time!
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