In recent weeks, we’ve taken a bit of a fun look at the world of trees and plants. This week, we thought we’d take it back to something a bit more practical, for all of you dedicated plant fans looking for a new project. Join us, today, as we break down how to successfully grow your own tree.
The process of looking after a tree starts with finding a tree that will work with you.
If your house has large Southern quadrants with little sunlight during the winter, evergreens will have trouble staying healthy in the colder months. Similarly, if you don’t plant any trees on the North side of your house, you risk leaving it open to chilling winds during the winter months.
Finally, avoid planting large trees under power lines. You’re planting these trees for the long haul – they’ll be tall enough to be a problem within a few years, and then you’ll have to mangle them to make them “fit”.
Once you know what trees you’ll be planting and where the next step is making sure the actual planting goes well.
When planting bare root trees, take them out of the packing material and soak their roots in water by hand. Dig a hole with about a foot more on each side than looks necessary so the roots have space to grow. Remember to turn your soil to give your roots space to grow in. Support and position your tree so that it’s standing up in the hole, then fill it up with the soil you dug out, removing air pockets. Finish off by creating a basin around the trunk with soil, giving it a thorough watering, and adding mulch.
With container trees, remove them gently from their container first. Position the tree in your hole so that the root collar is positioned at or just above the top of the hole. Pack the hole full of soil, removing air pockets as you go, until it is filled to just below the root collar. Create a water basin around the tree, water it, then mulch with wood chips or bark. Keep the mulch on the soil, but give the trunk some space.
Balled and burlapped trees, finally, require a saucer-shaped hole. As with bare root trees, go for a hole five times the diameter of the root ball, and just as deep. Set up your tree upright and in the center of the hole, then cut away any wire basketing, twine, and burlap from around the ball. Standard burlap in the root ball can stay, but anything treated or vinyl should go. Then refill your soil into the hole, getting rid of air pockets. Create your basin, water the tree, and mulch appropriately.
Lastly, let’s talk about the single most important element in getting any tree to grow up tall and healthy: watering.
Always water newly planted trees immediately after putting them in the ground. Following this, for the first two years of your tree’s life, give it consistent, deep watering, and cover the soil up with wood-chip mulch to protect it from drying out.
Keep your soil moist, not soggy, or you’ll overwater your plants and deprive them of oxygen. Aim for moist, using a garden trowel to dig trenches of about 2 inches into the sand to check for a moist consistency in the soil.
After two years, your tree will require less maintenance. Unless you live in a very dry state, you can probably afford to let it get water from regular rain, dew, and the like at this point.
There’s no prouder moment as a gardener than when you realize a tree you planted has grown to a point where it can take care of itself. It’s like being a parent.
For more on how to grow your own tree, garden more effectively, and conquer your garden, check out our other awesome blog posts, or get in touch with us today!