About the SFMGA

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tree Planting Thoughts

Bigger isn't always better. Smaller trees cost less and often catch up with their larger counterparts in 2 seasons. Smaller trees also tend to transplant and survive better, are much easier to plant and require less care than large ones.

By choosing small trees, you can spend your money on attributes such as disease resistance, shape, unusual bark or leaf, drought and soil tolerance, and speed of growth. You'll also be able to buy 2 to 3 trees for the price of one.

Dig an oversized planting hole, working the soil in a wide, shallow dish to accommodate future roots. By loosening the soil where the roots are to go, they'll struggle less to get through a tough soil wall. Add amendments only to get the tree started, as eventually it must survive in native soil.

The best way to water trees is slowly, either with drip irrigation or with a bubbler at the end of a garden hose. Water where the feeder roots are...at the drip line or beyond. Newly planted trees, especially balled and burlapped ones, should be watered twice weekly in their first season, as they don't tolerate drought well.