Tips on Choosing and Planting a Garden Tree
Garden Trees – How To Plant Them
Trees can make or break a garden design. Too many of them, or unsuitable kinds, can rob the garden of light and the soil of food and moisture, making it impossible to grow anything else very well. A few well placed trees that are well chosen can give a garden distinction and provide a welcome summer shaded area. Large trees, such as oak, poplar, beech, willow, cedar, pine and fir, should only be chosen for larger gardens. You can, however, find some of these in a form that will be acceptable in a smaller garden. One such example would be the Tulip Tree.
Conifers, of which cypress, cedar, juniper, fir, and pine are familiar examples. Conifers will have narrow leaves, and sometimes even needle-like leaves. The majority of this type, but not all, are evergreen. There are not many other types of evergreen trees. For this reason, they do play a special part in the over all look of the garden. Many of these are conical in habit, and contrast greatly to the more rounded shapes of broad-leaved trees. Though naturally green leaved, some conifers produce varieties with leaves of different colors, usually a blue gray or golden color. Once trees are planted, they are likely to remain for a great many years.
Getting Ready to Plant
It is very important for the hole to be wide enough and deep enough to give roots the space they need to grow to maturity with ease. I always recommend filling the hole first with water, and then allowing the water to soak back into the soil before planting. Do not put the roots down into a pool of water because you do not know how long it will take for the water to soak back into the ground. By doing this you will know that the roots will make contact with moist soil. Once the hole is prepared and you place the tree where you want it, check the to make sure the depth is correct. A good check would be to see if the soil mark on the trunk is at least one inch below the soil level. Once this is done, firm the soil down around the roots using your foot or the end of your shovel. If your tree is small, you will need to put a few stakes around the perimeter of the tree and tie the main stem securely to the stakes. This will help your tree grow straight, as well as preventing overturning or lending due to strong winds.
Trees should have a cultivated circle of at least 4 feet in diameter around them for the first few years. A good feeding is recommended for young trees each spring. When applying fertilizer, be sure to read the directions for the particular product you are using as many will vary. Over fertilizing and over watering are some of the main causes of disappointment when growing trees, and is the case with most plants.