On April 29th, our American friends will celebrate Arbor Day, a day on the calendar dedicated to planting trees. Many countries around the globe recognize a similar day devoted to greening up this beautiful planet. Arbor Day is a tradition that began in a Spanish village in 1594, initiated by an enlightened priest who convinced his parishioners that more trees would equal greater health and cleaner air. The first American Arbor Day was in 1872 in Nebraska, and if you check out this Wiki page, you’ll be amazed to see how many different countries celebrate a day dedicated to planting. We all know the value of planting trees: they are Mother Nature’s air filters, they give our families shade and fruit, they provide lasting beauty, and a tree planting ceremony can be a beautiful way to honor the memory of our dearly departed. Today at Tall Earth, we’re going to teach you how to plant a tree.
1. Make sure you’re planting the right tree in the right place – tall trees should be safely away from utility wires, and roots should have plenty of room to spread without creating structural damage to your home or property.
2. Call before you dig – you’ll need a deep hole, so make sure you aren’t potentially digging where you might hit a gas line.
3. Choose the right tree for your family – ask your garden center for advice about care, light and soil requirements, winterizing methods and watering needs.
4. Know when to plant – spring and fall tend to be the best times to plant trees, but confirm this with your new friend at the local garden center. If you’re planting in spring, make sure you wait until the risk of frost has passed. In fall, wait until the leaves begin to drop from the trees, but before the ground starts to freeze.
5. Planting time – clear an area about three times the size of the diameter of the root ball. You want to get rid of all the weeds, grass and ground cover on the planting site so that nothing else is competing with the tree for nutrients. Dig your hole to be about two times wider than the root ball and as deep as the root ball. Gently loosen the roots before you set the tree into the hole, handling this delicate part of your tree carefully. Insert your tree into the hole and back fill with water and soil, trying to remove any air pockets.
6. Mulch – if you’re worried about a dry spell, or you live in a drier climate, a two or three inch thick layer of mulch will help your tree retain moisture. Be sure to avoid mulching within a six inch diameter around the tree’s trunk.
7. Watering – do not let the roots of a newly planted tree dry out! Water twice a week for about two months after planting, with the hose right at the tree base soaking for about thirty minutes.
8. Fertilizing – ask your garden center about the best type of fertilizer for your tree.
9. Staking – only stake the tree if wind or animals are a concern.
For those of you who are visual learners, we found this awesome video tutorial series that shows exactly how to plant a tree from our friends at Davey Tree Experts. Enjoy!