Tips For Planting Your Tree On Earth Day
By Guest Contributor Jen Altrogge, Because I'm Write Blog
Earth day is quickly approaching, and not only that, but the holiday is also nearing its 50th anniversary! This is a day for everyone to come together and do one small thing to make a big difference.
But before you jump the gun and plant that bad boy, I’m going to lay out some tips for the big day. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when planting a tree this spring.
Choose A Location
The first step is choosing where you are going to plant the tree. Seems pretty simple, right? But what you need to consider is how your location affects the kind of tree you get.
You certainly don’t want to plant a seedling for a giant oak underneath a power line. And there are other factors in the environment to consider such as amount/type of sunlight, aesthetics, wind reduction, privacy, soil conditions, and climate.
Choose A Tree
Whenever you are in the nursery, make sure you run through this checklist before you purchase.
Seedlings should have moist, fibrous roots. And if it is a deciduous tree, one that sheds its leaves seasonally, make sure the roots are all similar in length.
If the roots are scrunched in a ball and covered with burlap, make sure they are solid. The size of balled roots should be adequate for the size of the tree.
If your tree is already in a pot, check the roots. They should be cleanly pruned. Also the roots and soil should be securely joined in order for the tree to thrive.
Another option for purchasing a tree, is ordering one. I have found The Tree Center to be a great resource for taking the guesswork out of choosing a tree. They’re experts, the product quality is top notch, and shipping is free.
Plant Your Tree
For starters, dig a hole larger than you think the tree would need, about twice the size of the ball of roots. You want to have room for the roots to expand without crowding.
Place the tree in the hole, and then firmly put soil around the bottom half of the roots. Then shovel in the rest of the dirt, but without firmly packing it.
Right after planting the sapling or tree, water it enough for all the soil to be moist, but not soggy. You should not be able to see standing water setting on the ground and soil.
Watering the tree in the first year is vital for its survival. The reason for this is that a tree loses a lot of its root system when it is initially dug up. Water approximately once a week, and more in the heat of the first summer.
Mulch is not simply decorative. It serves a practical purpose in helping new trees survive the shock of being transplanted to new soil.
It insulates the soil, keeping extreme temperature swings at bay. It holds water and enables the roots to stay more consistently moist. Also, when mulch surrounds a tree, there is very little chance of a lawn mower doing damage to newly planted roots.
When laying down mulch, layer it a couple inches deep. Lay it at least 3 feet in diameter around the tree, without letting it touch the tree.
Tree planting isn’t rocket science, but if you follow these tips while doing your part this Earth Day, you’ll set that new plant up to thrive.
And by doing your part, you’ll be taking care of our planet. Protecting us from harmful CO2 in the air, and providing food, energy, and income for generations to come.
How about you? In your experience, what tips would you offer to those planning on planting a new tree this Earth Day?