Tree planting – different tree requires different growing requirements but there are general rules in tree planting that you must follow. In addition, trees are sold in different forms before planting them:

Type of tree planting

  • Balled and Burlapped trees – Larger trees come in balled root or burlapped form. These are best planted as soon as possible but can also be stored for some time as long as the ball is kept moist and the tree is stores in a shady area to prevent drying up. Some stocks have a metal basket surrounding the root ball; make sure to remove these without disturbing the roots. Plastic burlaps should also be removed, but those made of natural fibers can be left on the root ball by pulling down as far as possible. This will allow the roots to spread. Balled and burlapped trees should always be handled and lifted by the ball and never by the trunk.
  • Container trees – Large, small or average sized trees can come in container form. Container trees are planted just like balled and burlapped trees; any wire or wrapping should be removed prior to planting. If the roots are pot bound, use your fingers to carefully tease the fine roots away from the tight mass and spread the roots before planting. Loosening the root system is extremely important and failure to do so may result to difficulty in expanding, girdling or even killing the tree.
  • Bare-rooted trees – smaller specimens come in bare root form. As the name suggest, there is no soil surrounding the roots of the tree therefore it should be planted as soon as possible. You may submerse the roots in a bucket of water to keep them moist while you are still digging up a hole. Snip off any roots that appear to be broken or substantially longer than the root mass. Mound the soil in the center of the hole then spread the roots over it.
  • Knowing what type of tree you are going to plant makes it easier for starting gardeners. Once you are ready with your tree, it is now time to plant it on the ground. Here are the steps in tree planting:
  • Digging a hole – one of the most common mistakes made in tree planting is digging a hole that is both too deep and too narrow. When the hole is too deep, there would be no access to enough oxygen to ensure proper growth. When it is too narrow, there is no room for root expansion and it cannot anchor the tree properly. The rule is to dig a hole that is thrice the width of the root ball. You may also raise the center bottom of the hole slightly higher than the surrounding area to allow water to disperse and prevent pooling if you have a poorly drained clay soil.
  • Placing the tree – Place the tree at the center of the hole making sure that he best side of the tree is facing the direction you want. Backfill the hole with the soil from its original container while lightly packing it as you go. Compress the soil gently using your hands. Do not over compress the soil because it will be hard for the tree roots to expand and grow in a compressed soil. Placing a stake will be beneficial in a windy area. Connect the stake to your tree using a wire.
  • Watering – Water newly planted trees at the time of planting and at least once a week during its first growing seasons. Increase the frequency of watering during the height of summer. Moisture should reach a depth of 12 to 18 inches below the soil surface to encourage ideal root growth.
  • Mulching – you can cover the surrounding back-filled soil with mulch to conserve moisture and promote water and air penetration. Mulch depth should be between 3 to 4 inches and may be compost of materials such as bark, wood chips or pine needles. Mulching also keeps weeds away from your tree.
  • Fertilize – This depends on the quality of your soil and the type of tree you are planting. Since different trees have different nutritional needs, it may be helpful to fertilize according to need. Although many trees will survive transplanting without the need of fertilizers, you may use slow-release types if your soil is poor.