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Tree planting comes with a lot of advantages especially when the tree is planted in the right spot. Trees can act as windbreakers, they spread their branches and give shade, they filter and clean the air we breathe, provide shelter for birds and other wildlife and are just a beautiful part of nature in general.
Planting trees is easy but picking the right location can be a bit of a challenge sometimes.
That’s why we’re here to explain how to pick the right site to plant a tree which you’ll see in just a moment.
How To Choose The Right Planting Spot
It usually doesn’t take much thought to select the perfect species of tree, prepare the soil and dig a hole for planting but only few people know exactly where to plant the tree beforehand. There are a few things to do to make sure your tree is planted in the right site:
Read Also: How Much Does an Arborist Cost in 2022?
Choose The Right Tree Species
In choosing the right tree to plant, looks aren’t everything. Don’t just pick a tree because you think it’ll look good next to your new shed.
Think about the type of soil you have and the kind of weather you experience for most of the year then pick a tree that can thrive in these conditions. It is not worth it to plant a good-looking tree that will become sickly eventually because these things were not put into consideration.
Talking about good growing conditions for trees, trees need full sun to grow to their fullest potential. A minimum of 6 hours of full sun is required on a daily basis.
To ensure your tree gets this amount of sun, plant it a distance away from other trees so that they don’t shade each other. Make sure space is also given between trees and tall structures like buildings.
The soil the tree is planted in has a direct effect on the overall well-being of the tree. Trees don’t like to stand in excessively moist soil.
This includes soil that is easily waterlogged and constantly wet. Trees planted in this kind of soil are at high risk of overwatering, root rot and fungus growth.
To combat these issues, ensure the soil has good drainage. Also consider the nutrient content of the soil and make sure it can sustain your tree.
This can be determined by a simple soil test and if you can, amend the soil to match the trees natural growing habitat.
Check What´s Above And Below
To pick the right site to plant a tree, you will have to inspect the environment. Be aware of what structures are above the spot and even under the ground.
Check for overhead power lines and underground utility cables before you proceed to dig a hole. If you decide to plant your tree under a power line, you will need to prune it constantly so that the branches never touch the wire.
But as a rule of thumb, trees that are pruned all the time grow bare and thin branches making them look less aesthetic. At some point, it can become dangerous since the tree has higher chances of falling over.
If it is possible, get the areas where underground cables are laid marked out to avoid future accidents. In the United States, you can call 811 before you dig.
Someone will come out to mark your underground utility lines for free or help you get through it over the phone so you can avoid planting too close to them. Digging into a cable can cause serious injury and lead to power interruptions.
Also remember that tree roots can go very deep and spread far as well.
Read Also: How To Save A Dying Tree
Evaluate What Other Structures Are Present
Before planting, it is important to know the height of the mature tree, as well as it’s canopy spread and root spacing. When trees are planted in residential areas or places with many structures, there is a high chance that the roots will grow into them.
When in doubt, ask a tree supplier in your area or a nursery how much vertical and horizontal space is needed to keep your tree healthy and your structures secure.
Is the tree evergreen or deciduous? Can you deal with cleaning up fallen fruit?
Does the tree receive enough sun in winter like it does in summer? These are questions you need to answer when choosing the right spot for a tree to grow throughout the year.
The best time to plant trees is when the weather is cool as the trees are dormant during this time. Planting a tree in late spring or summer, when roots are actively growing, puts too much stress on the tree and it may not survive.
Early on in autumn is best for container- grown trees, root ball and jute while spring is best for bare root trees– trees that have been stored without soil around their roots. Ensure you plant before the first frost or after the last frost.
Plan For The Future
Think about the long-term plan for both the tree and your surroundings. If you plan to use the space for other things in future, you might want to plant your tree in a different location.
If you plan for the future now, you can avoid problems with trees later and choose the right place to plant.
First Steps To Get Started
First, you should get in touch with the local nursery to help you select the best trees for your soil type and climate. You will also be able to get help choosing a tree that can fit into the horizontal and vertical space available.
When you have made your choice, you can get planting!
1. Water the soil on the day of planting before digging the hole. Thoroughly hose down the planting area to moisten the soil and make digging easier.
Moist soil is also more hospitable and minimizes root stress in a newly transplanted tree.
2. Dig a hole 2 or 3 times the diameter of the root ball. You will use the original soil to fill in the hole around the root ball, so shovel the excavated soil right next to the hole.
Make sure the width of the hole can easily accommodate the roots.
3. Dig the hole to the same depth as the root ball. Locate the first lateral roots, which are the long shoots near the top of the root ball an inch or two below the soil surface after planting.
4. The beginning of the trunk should be at about ground level. If you plant too deep, the roots will have a hard time getting oxygen and eventually suffocate.
Water can also gather around the base of the tree, causing the bark to rot, ultimately killing the tree.
5. Place the root ball in the prepared hole. Any loose soil in the hole should be moved to the side so the root ball rests on firm ground.
6. After the root ball is in position, make sure the root extension where the tree trunk meets the root ball is visible just above the soil line.
7. Lastly, fill the planting hole with the original soil and press down lightly. Loosen and break up any clods of earth before refilling the hole.
Then fill in the space around the root ball and gently press down. It is important to backfill with the original soil because using soil amendments around the root ball can lead to problems like root rot.
Water deep at the base of the tree until the soil is saturated by pouring water slowly so as not to disturb or compact the soil around the root ball. Ample available moisture will help the soil settle around the roots to allow the tree to establish itself in its new environment.
Care And Maintenance
You have successfully planted your tree! Now, you must care for it so it can live a long,productive life
Here’s what you can do to help it:
Add a 7.6–10.2 cm layer of natural wooden mulch across the tree. Don’t pile mulch up across the tree trunk—start 5 to 10 cm away.
If you are planting during the fall, mulch before the frost arrives. If you are planting during the spring, mulch earlier than summer.
Water Consistently In The First 2 Years
Watering your tree well enables the roots to get established and is critical to ensure the tree’s survival. How frequently you water depends upon your climate, so screen the soil and water as frequently as needed.
Reduce The Watering Frequency After 2 Years
After about 2 years, you can reduce watering. The specific amount of water needed will still depend on your climate, but in general you should water an established tree deeply every 3-5 days during the growing season.
Remove Damaged Or Diseased Branches
No pruning is required when planting, but check the tree regularly once it is in the ground. Use sharp pruning shears to remove damaged branches or diseased areas.
Whenever possible, leave the lower extremities intact. It is important to limit pruning for the first 2 years until the tree is established so as not to stunt growth.
Once the tree is established, prune according to the needs of the species. Make sure you do your research so you know when to prune and how much to cut off.
Adding just one new tree to your environment has a significant and positive impact. But do you know how to pick the right site to plant a tree?
Can you plant the tree properly so that it grows and thrives? In this article, we have established the entire process, including scouting a site, planting at the right depth, and keeping your tree healthy for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Plant A Tree Right Next To My House?
Large trees more than 70 feet tallshould be planted at least 20 feet from the house, medium-sized trees up to 70 feet tall should be planted 15 feet from the house, and small trees under 30 feet tall should be planted 8 to 10 feet from the house.
What Trees Should Not Be Planted Around The House?
Cypress trees because they have a high water demand and this can be a problem close to houses where the soil can contract, damaging foundations.
What Is The Best Tree To Plant In Front Of House?
Magnolia, crape myrtle and pink flowering dogwood are a few of the best trees to plant in your front yard.
What Tree Has The Least Invasive Roots?
What Is The Most Resistant Tree?
Allegheny Serviceberry Common
Three Flowered Maple
What Is The Best Month To Plant A Tree?
Latete August, September and October.
What Are The Best Low Maintenance Trees?
Green Giant Arborvitae
What Kills A Newly Planted Tree?
Poorly drained sites and overwatering are common causes of death in newly planted trees.
What Helps Newly Planted Trees Grow?
Proper watering is essential to bringing moisture and oxygen to your recently planted tree.