The entire process of planting and establishing a tree takes 2 growing seasons, with the tree needing consistent weekly watering from you.
HOW TO PLANT A TREE :
- The new tree needs a hole deep enough to sit the tree level with the ground so that its trunk flare is above the surrounding ground, not buried below. The hole also needs to be about twice the width of the root ball or pot width of the new tree.
- If the hole is dug too deep the first time, just backfill it with some loose soil, so the flare of the tree sits even with the ground. The trunk of the tree is not designed to be buried in the soil as it will rot.
- Speaking of trunk damage, the next major thing we have to protect against is a weed whacker and lawn mower damage. This is done by making a small mulched area around the tree so that no grass can grow against the trunk. I usually do a 3 or 4-foot diameter area mulch area, expanding it as the tree grows.
WHY WATERING MATTERS, EVEN IF IT RAINS :
- After planting in your yard, there is about a two-year period where the tree will replace its water rainwater absorption power.
- When a tree is cut into a ball in the field, it loses 90 per cent of its surface root structure with which it gathers water. It takes two years for the tree to establish this “close-to-the-surface” fibrous root system. The tree needs hand water during this time until the new roots help it grab rainwater.
- I recommend watering two to three times weekly with a direct hose on the tree for 60 to 90 seconds. Unlike the rain or a sprinkler system, watering by hose gives enough water to go deep and blanket the root ball. A regular rainstorm or sprinkler does not go down 12 inches into the ground. In the second year of the tree’s life, continue to water twice a week in the long sunny days of spring and summer.
SLEEP, CREEP, AND LEAP :
- I like to say the tree sleeps the first year after planting. Then the second year it “creeps.” And in the third year it “leaps” in growth. Sleep, creep and leap. The tree, therefore, needs watering for the first two years.
- Finally, in years 3-5, as that tree is “leaping” in growth, I recommend “structural pruning.” Structural pruning is done by removing the first two lower branches and reducing the upper side branches that try to compete with the central leader.
- This kind of pruning prevents heavy-weighted side branching which can burden the tree later in life and cause storm damage. It allows an open-grown tree to grow straighter and stronger, like in the forest.
OUR 10% OFF WINTER OFFER: If you want an assessment of your trees and a quote for pruning, tree removal, or replacement, we can stop by for a visit. We have career tree-men on staff, along with cranes, spider lifts and bucket trucks.
We can address tree risk with pruning, cabling or removal. Call us for a quote now, as we offer 10% per cent off regular rates until March 1st.
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