Determine the following:
- Any underground or overhead services that will be badly affected by your tree.
- When your tree is 20 years old or more how much shade will it produce. Big leaves will provide more shade, small leaves dappled shade.
- Is your soil suitable for the tree you have chosen. Ph, depth, loam or clay etc
- Will your tree disturb your neighbours?
- You can plant most trees within 5 feet of your building provided you don’t have a wet crawl space or basement.
What type of soil do you have, loam, sandy, clay?
Some trees like a wet spot and some prefer a dry soil.
To determine which tree is suitable examine the conditions where you want to plant and research trees that grow in this type of environment.
- Do you want to provide shade to your house or your property?
- How big will it get; will adjacent trees grow faster and bigger?
- Have you considered a Food tree?
- Deciduous or evergreen?
PLANTING A POTTED TREE
- Dig where you will least disturb the roots of other trees and place the dug soil on a tarp.
- Dig a hole that will allow your tree to be planted at the same depth at which it grew. Place a stick across the hole to help you place the tree bowl at the correct depth.
- Your hole should be thrice as wide as it’s depth ,to allow the roots to spread out.
- Use mostly native soil. If you plant a tree in clay you must back fill with clay or you may be creating a swimming pool for you tree roots.
- Put stakes on two sides of your tree before you backfill.
- Check from all sides to see if you have placed the tree upright. As you are filling keep checking.
- Half fill your hole with water to see how quickly it drains. If it takes a long time to drain make sure you are plating a tree that likes its roots wet (like a willow).
- Remove the tree from its pot or wrapping trim the exposed roots and spread them.
- Backfill a little then water some then backfill a little more then backfill and so on. Backfill to the level of the surrounding soil.
- Gently tamp the soil around the newly planted tree with your foot to reduce air pockets around the roots.
- Mulch with leaves, or suitable organic material, forming a watering ring around the tree.
- Water thoroughly at a slow rate for approximately one hour.
- Tie your tree to the stakes with material that will not fit tightly to the tree trunk.
- Place a protective sleeve around the base of the tree trunk.
- Water weekly in the summer months unless you have planted in a low area that easily collects water.
PLANTING A BARE ROOT TREE
Your tree will arrive in a dormant state without soil and must be planted as soon as possible.
Remove any paper stuck to the tree roots then soak the roots for one or two hours before planting.
If you have a fruit tree,with a grafted root, plant so the graft (bump in the lower trunk) is 2” above the surrounding soil.
Plant as explained above for a potted tree, except put a hill of some loose soil in the bottom of your hole and spread the roots over it.
CARING FOR YOUR TREE
- Water for the first two years in the summer months and in droughts.
- Clip away damaged or diseased branches close to the trunk.
- Watch for infestations of pests that you type of tree is susceptible to.
- If you need to trim your tree back do not cut any more than a quarter of its branches a year. Trimming should be limited to fall and winter months.
- Look for cracked trunks. This can happen in the winter when one side of the tree is getting a lot of sun.
- If you tree is carrying a heavy load of ice or snow try to remove the burden as soon as possible . Leaving ice or snow on boughs can permanently damage the form of your tree.
- Do not rake up leaves in the fall , leaves provide nourishment for your tree and habitat for a lot of wildlife.