Texas Tree Planting Tips
October 23, 2018 | By Roundtree Landscaping
Did you know? Fall is the best time to add new trees to your landscape. Planting in the fall ensures that your new tree has lots of time to acclimate to its new home - and put on some new root growth before summer returns. We don’t want you to miss out on Texas’s best tree planting season, so here are our top tips for tree success:
1) Right plant, right place
Before you even think about buying a tree, you must consider the planting location. How large is the area? Is it in sun or shade? Is it near the house, sidewalk or driveway? You must answer all these questions before choosing the tree - or you could end up with a tree that far outgrows the space. Check out a few of our favorite trees in different sizes here.
Make sure the tree you choose is right for the location.
2) Buy smart
Once you narrow down the type of tree you want to plant, choosing the specimen is important. Choose a reputable nursery or garden center that has healthy stock and knowledgeable staff to answer your questions. It’s important to inspect your tree for insect or mechanical damage (look for holes in leaves, branches or trunk, curling leaves), disease (visible rust or mold on leaves), and root health (are the roots circling the pot, or girdled?) Your best bet for a long-lived healthy tree is to start with a healthy specimen.
Inspect your plants closely before purchasing.
3) Dig a good hole
You can pick the right tree for the right place, but you can kill your new tree if you don’t dig the right kind of planting hole. Always be sure to dig a hole two to three times the diameter of the root ball. This gives the tree plenty of space to expand its roots into the surrounding soil with ease.
The planting hole should not be deeper than the height of the root ball. Make sure the base of the trunk, with the root flare, sits level or just slightly above grade once you set your tree in place. Never bury the base of the trunk below the soil line, or mound mulch against it. This can cause decay and decline.
4) Plant it right
Now that you have dug the proper hole, you need to remove your tree from its pot and place in the center of the hole. You MUST remove any wire cage, plastic or burlap surrounding the roots. These items will not break down & will cause root girdling to occur. Girdling can suffocate your tree.
Make sure you place your tree slightly above grade with the root flare exposed, then backfill the native soil around the edges of the hole – taking care to keep the tree upright. It’s best not to fill the hole with a prepared soil mix, as this can stunt the tree once its roots hit native soil.
Make sure root flares are exposed when planting, otherwise it can lead to problems down the road.
5) Follow-up Care
Once your tree is safely and happily planted, water it immediately. Make sure to give the root ball and the soil surrounding it a good soaking. Then, continue to check water needs at least two times per week during the first few months, or install a soaker hose for easy, slow watering. You can spread a 1-2 inch layer of mulch around the root ball to help conserve moisture, but never pile it against the tree trunk.
If you’re ready to add new trees to your landscape this fall, be sure to follow the steps above for best success. Or, if you decide to leave it to the pros, give us a call for help!