Newly transplanted trees are vulnerable during the first few years in their new location. Proper planting and care at the beginning will help establish a strong root system and provide a healthy, long-lived tree. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when planting a tree:
1. Tree Type
If you’re thinking about planting a new tree on your property, take note: not all trees are alike, and it’s essential to choose the best species for your site. One common mistake is selecting trees that are the wrong size or won’t thrive in your area.
Select high-quality trees that are adapted to local conditions. Species selection is essential because some species may have characteristics that lead to poor growth. For example, weeping willows and cottonwoods grow rapidly but are not long-lived and are susceptible to many pests.
Planting a tree that thrives in direct sunlight in a shaded area of your yard can mean disaster and cause many headaches, leading to our next mistake.
2. Improper Placement
The planting site is also essential. A site with a good history of plant survival and growth is probably a good place to plant a tree, though it may or may not be the best choice for the tree you want.
Avoid planting too close to the home, as this can interfere with utilities (especially sewer lines) and can cause damage to the foundation wall if roots grow under the structure.
Trees planted too close together become crowded and compete for nutrients, water, and space. Eventually, this leads to crowding, growth suppression, and increased susceptibility to pests. Place trees far enough apart so their mature canopy widths will not overlap when they reach maturity; this saves money by eliminating the need to remove
3. Planted Too Deep or Too Shallow
Planting a tree too deep can cause the root flare (where the trunk meets the roots) to be buried. This can lead to problems related to the rotting of the trunk and roots. If this occurs, the tree will essentially be girdled by its roots. The best way to avoid this problem is to understand that planting too deeply is one of the most common reasons trees fail in landscape settings.
To make sure you don’t grow too deeply, dig your hole so that the depth from the bottom of your hole to the top of your root ball is equal to approximately the depth of soil on your root ball.
If your hole is too shallow, it’s not draining well; when there isn’t enough water for them to suck up, some trees will die from lack of moisture or light. You can tell if it’s too shallow by looking at the bottom of the hole: if water collects there and doesn’t drain out, then it probably needs more soil packed into it so that water can get through quickly.
4. Not Using Stakes
Not using stakes to hold up a newly planted tree. The roots of a new tree need time to develop before the stability provided by these roots can take over from the support provided by stakes. If you don’t use stakes, instability can cause damage to the developing root system, stunting growth and contributing to disease in the trunk and branches of your new tree.
5. Poor Watering
The most common mistake when planting a new tree is not watering enough. Even if the soil around your new tree is damp, you still need to make sure that you are watering your newly planted tree. If you are growing an established tree, it may be that it needs more water than you think. It is best to plant in the spring or fall to minimize exposure to low temperatures or frost depending on where in Florida you live.
Planting a New Tree: Conclusion
If we all take a little time to plan and be aware of our environment, many of the problems with planting a new tree can be avoided. Trees improve our overall health, beautify and enrich the community, and help us live more sustainably. Planting a tree is a big decision, but it will undoubtedly pay off in the future. A few simple guidelines, like those mentioned here, will go a long way towards ensuring the success of your next tree-planting endeavor.
Here at SB Tree Service, we take pride in caring for our client’s every tree needs. Contact us today for a FREE estimate!