As an ISA Certified Arborist I’m often called upon to provide guidance for the planting of new trees. Preparation and planning will go a long way toward ensuring the health and vitality of newly planted trees on your property.
Today we provide our customers in Olympia, Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest general recommendations for planting new trees. Our recommendations include preparing for planting as well as a set of do’s and don’ts when it comes to planting and maintaining new trees.
As I mentioned above, planning and preparation are of utmost importance. No one desires to spend significant time and financial investment only to see their newly planted trees fail.
- Plant for your environment: Ensure the trees you are planting will work in your climate. Likewise, plan with purpose; is your tree for shade, privacy, or wind barrier? Choose your tree species appropriately. I highly recommend utilizing the services of an ISA Certified Arborist such as Westcoast Tree Care to guide you in your selection and planning.
- Plan your locations: You want your root systems and branches to have plenty of room to grow and develop. It’s important to understand the expected growth of the tree species you choose to avoid planting a tree that will outgrow its space. Plan your planting locations according to the type of tree species and expected growth.
- Plan your planting time: Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. Beside the above mentioned preparation you should also plan when to plant. The optimal times to plant new seedlings and young trees is early morning, on an overcast day, or late afternoon.
- Dig your hole properly. Dig a hole two to three times the diameter of the root ball and dig deeply enough to contain the root balls depth.
- Water after planting.
- Check soil moisture regularly. One way to check – insert a knife into the soil – if there is soil on the knife hold off on watering. If no soil, water.
- Remove plastic or metal containers surrounding the root ball. For root balls wrapped in burlap, ensure you’ve cut away any rope or wire holding the burlap in place.
- Wrap young trees, for the first two to three growing seasons, during the winter months.
- Monitor your tree for weeds, insect infestation, and disease.
- Don’t leave plastic or metal containers around the root ball.
- Don’t wait too long to plant. If you cannot plant immediately store in cool place and ensure the root system does not dry out.
- Don’t over-water. Water deeply and infrequently.
- Don’t over-fertilize. Putting fertilizer in the planting hole can cause serious root damage. Wait until the following spring and fertilize your new trees sparingly.
- Don’t tamp the soil after planting. Water your tree and allow the water to settle the soil.
As an ISA Certified Arborist I am often called upon to guide customers in tree selection and best planting practices. Choosing the proper trees for your environment, properly preparing for planting, and following our tree planting recommendations will go a long way toward ensuring the health and vitality of your newly planted trees.
Westcoast Tree Care recommends our customers consult with an ISA Certified Arborist prior to the selection, preparation, and planting of your trees. Once your trees are planted Westcoast Tree Care offers valuable tree care services such as pruning and deadwood removal to help ensure your trees last a lifetime. Contact us today to learn more!