Hurricanes, storms, ice and extreme temperature fluctuations have taken their toll on the landscape in our area, and that was just this winter! Many of our beloved trees were broken or damaged and need to be removed and/or replaced.
This summer do something for your family, your home and your community — plant a tree.
However, it’s not as easy as picking out a tree and just plopping it in your yard. Identifying the right tree for the right location is key to the success of the tree and preventing future damage.
A certified arborist can offer tips on where, when and what to plant for your area and location. The Care of Trees, which merged with The Davey Tree Expert Company has developed a checklist to help you select the right tree for your yard and plant it correctly. Check their website for more details on planting specific trees and tree planting videos. Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
1. Identify the right tree:
- Figure out what you are looking for in a tree. For example, is it for shade, quick growth, color, screening, fragrance?
- Determine what type of soil you have. Wet or dry areas are better for different species.
- Talk to a certified arborist about the best species for your area. Make sure to discuss the benefits of native trees.
- Be sure the tree is compatible with your USDA cold-hardiness zone.
- Diversity is important if you’re planting more than one kind of tree. A good rule of thumb is no more than 15% of a single genus, no more than 5% of a single species.
2. Identify the right place for the tree:
- Look at how much sunlight the site receives. Most trees like full sunlight, but many need shade.
- Make sure the tree is away from above ground hazards like wires, underground hazards like pipes and far enough away from the permanent structures.
- Control competing vegetation. Make sure the site is free of weeds and other plants that may prevent your tree from growing straight and tall.
- Finally, check to make sure you have adequate spacing. Plan for 10-20-30 years of growth of the tree.
3. Identify proper planting methods:
- You only get one chance to plant a tree—do it right!
- Select the right time of year. The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is right now. Summer is here, and it is a good time to start preparing your summer tree planting plans.
- Prepare the hole: it should be 4-5 times the width of the root ball. The point where the tree comes out of the ground should be1/2 inch higher than the ground around it. This prevents water from collecting next to the base of the trunk, which causes the tree to rot.
- Water! One inch of rainfall equates to 625 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft!
- Mulch, mulch, mulch! Cover the planting hole with 1-3 inches of shredded hardwood or leaf mulch. But don’t over mulch the tree or “volcano” mulch. Keep the mulch 2-3" away from the trunk or the trunk will rot.
- Keep watering your tree for the first few years as it gets established.
This summer we need to give Mother Nature a hand and plant a tree. And if you have any questions, talk to a certified arborist at The Care of Trees! You can trust a tree care specialist ahttp://www.davey.com/local-office/hamden-tree-service.aspxt