The Top Five Problems to Look for When Planting a Tree

August 3, 2018

The warm weather is finally here! Now is the time to bring fresh life into your yard and garden by planting a new tree. Fruit, flowering and shade trees are all wonderful additions to any property. However, planting a tree isn’t as simple as just plopping a young sapling into the ground. Ultimately, the goal is for the tree to thrive and grow into a strong specimen. Aspiring planters can help safeguard their new tree’s chance of survival by choosing the best tree from their local tree service in Columbus, OH and avoiding a few common planting mistakes.

Here are five mistakes to avoid when planting a new tree:

  • Choosing an unhealthy plant: Start off on the right foot by selecting a strong, healthy tree. Look for a tree with a single trunk with multiple lateral branches. The bark should be clear of any large cracks or discolorations. Thoroughly check the tree for any signs of parasites or weaknesses within the developing root system. Try not to fall for a tree that already looks like it’s struggling to survive in the pot, as it’s unlikely it will ever flourish once it is planted in the ground.
  • Small root ball: A healthy tree will have a root ball about 10 to 12 inches long. Avoid plants with roots that are already pot-bound, girdled or appear to be spiraling away from the root ball, as those are all signs they haven’t been able to develop a healthy root system.
  • Improperly sized hole: Planting the tree in a hole that’s too small or too large could have devastating effects. The planting hole needs to be both the perfect depth and width to ensure the tree develops correctly. Too-deep holes are prone to root rot due to pooling water that can’t be absorbed by the roots or soil. A narrow hole will keep the roots from expanding enough for the tree to prosper. Generally, the hole should be twice as deep and wide as the root ball.
  • Bad spot: A tree will have the best chance of success in the best location. There should be enough room for the tree to expand both above and below the ground. Consider ordering a soil test to identify the tree species best suited for the unique conditions of your yard. A clay-based soil is best suited for moisture-tolerant trees, while drought-tolerant trees will do better in sandy soils.
  • Overwatering: It’s a common misconception that a young tree should be watered around the clock. But too much water can cause root rot and ruin the tree before it ever has a chance to begin to take root in the soil. Most new trees only need watering every seven to 10 days. Plan to water a little more frequently if the weather is especially hot or sunny.

Proper tree care should start before the tree is put into the ground. The best way to guarantee a beautiful tree is to leave it to the experienced arborists at J.D. Tree Service in Columbus, OH. Call us today to learn more!

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