The arrival of spring means that garden centers around the country are packed with people ready for planting time. Excitement about gardening is almost palpable. To ensure that this heightened level of excitement yields positive results, let's discuss the basics of tree planting and go over some great tips to help your yard and the planet. Planting new trees and getting them to grow successfully is not as difficult or complicated as some would have you believe. Here's a little planting guide.
Before tree planting, check to make sure the root ball is wrapped in genuine burlap and not imitation burlap made of a non-biodegradable plastic material. Genuine burlap does not have to be removed before planting but you should loosen it from around the stem of the plant and cut a few vertical sections around the circumference of the ball. If you aren't sure or you suspect a non-biodegradable type of burlap, then ask to make sure because it is necessary to remove it completely.
A very critical part of planting a tree is the soil in which you plant it. If your soil is heavy clay, then it is ideal to add rich topsoil to the mix when planting. If for some reason you can't do that, then bury the plant so that at least 2 inches or more of the root ball is above the existing grade. Do keep in mind that trees planted this way can dry out. But, planting them flush to the ground in heavy clay can mean that the roots will get too much water.
Keep in mind that most trees are grown in well drained soil. That means that the soil around the root ball is porous so that water can easily pass through. It is recommended that you plant the root ball at least 2 inches above grade and backfill around the ball with the soil you shoveled out when you dug the hole. Backfilling using clay soil is almost like building a dam to keep the excess water from over-saturating the root ball of your newly planted tree.
By tree planting in a good, nutrient-rich topsoil, you are doing all you can to keep your deciduous or coniferous plant healthy and happy. Whether you have good soil or bad, be careful not to plant your trees too deeply. They should not be planted any deeper than they were planted in the nursery. Thousands of trees are killed each year by gardening enthusiasts who just don't understand how critical planting depth is. Consult a planting guide if you need further instructions.