Minnesotans weren’t sure if it would happen or not, but it finally did. The snow is starting to melt and signs of spring are appearing. Once the ground is completely clear, you might want to add a tree or two to your property. We’ve put together some key points that are often overlooked when people are planting trees so that you can do it the right way.
Picking the Site
People often make the mistake of buying a tree then placing it in a spot in the yard before thinking about the environment around the tree. Before you even buy the tree, you should consider any obstacles around the spot you have in mind. For example, if you want to plant an oak tree, you should be aware of where the power lines and sidewalks are in relation to the site. You also need to think about how much sunlight the tree will get and how much water it will receive.
Picking the Plant
Now that you’ve got your site picked out, you can keep these details in mind while you’re making your selection. If you don’t know a lot about the trees you like, be sure to ask someone at the nursery or store you’re purchasing from—it’s what they’re there for. Be sure to ask about the size of the fully grown tree. Sure, the sapling might fit now, but what about in 10 or 20 years down the road? You should also know whether or not the soil and climate in your area are compatible with the health of the tree. If you’re planting in Minnesota, you can find a listing of compatible trees on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.
Digging the Hole
Before you dig, you need to call 811 to find out if there are any buried utility lines are in the area. If you know the area is safe you can begin digging the hole, which should be roughly 1-2 feet wider than the root system size. This is to allow room for the roots to grow. The depth of the hole is often a concern for those who aren’t seasoned planters. If you purchase your new tree from a nursery, try to keep an eye on how deep the tree was planted before it was removed. If you’re not sure, about one-third of the root ball should be above ground.
Finishing the Planting
You can now place the roots into the hole and begin to add soil. If you notice any sick or damaged roots, trim them so the tree can start off a healthy new life. When filling the hole, avoid letting anything other than soil enter the hole, such as rocks or clay, as this can affect circulation. Tap the soil occasionally to let out any air pockets that may form. Watering the soil can also alleviate air pockets.