Time: 1 hour
Did you know that carefully positioned trees can save up to 25% of the energy a typical household uses? Healthy trees can beautify a neighborhood and increase the property value of a home by an average of ten percent to boot. Spring is a great time to plant a new tree in your yard and give it the best shot at thriving for years to come.
What's in it for you?
- Boost your property value
- Save on your home energy costs
Plant a tree
Location, location, location. Deciding where to plant a tree is one of the most important steps. Make sure you keep in mind a tree’s location relative to overhead and underground utility lines. Avoid any serious injuries or costly service interruptions by calling your utility company to get help pinpointing any underground utility lines.
Easy does it. Trees purchased from nurseries are usually sold in a pot or container. Carefully remove the tree from the container by first tapping the outside of it to loosen the edge. Don’t yank the tree out of its container as it can cause the roots to separate from the tree.
Pro Tip: If it appears that the roots are circling the root ball (i.e., the mass formed by the roots of a plant and the soil surrounding them), use a sharp knife to cut an X across the bottom of the root ball. Then cut four, vertical slices along the sides of the root ball.
Get to digging. Dig a shallow, wide hole in the ground where you’d like to plant the tree. The width of the hole should be about 2-3 times wider than the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. If the tree is planted too deep, new roots will lack the oxygen they need to develop.
Straighten it out. Set the tree in the middle of the hole and use soil to stabilize it in an upright position. Continue filling the hole with soil and pack it firmly to avoid any air pockets that can dry out the roots.
Pro Tip: Don’t use fertilizer, potting soil, or chemicals on newly planted trees. These type of products can actually kill young trees.
Keep it clean. Make sure to remove any tags or labels from the tree because they can affect growth. Take the time to prune any broken or dead branches too.
Let it grow. Regularly and properly watering your tree is important for its health and longevity. Water your tree every other week, making sure the soil is wet but not soggy. If you see standing water around the base of the tree, you’ve overwatered it. In dry weather, water your tree generously at least once a week. Add mulch around the base of your tree to ward off weeds, conserve moisture, and protect roots from drying out.