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Proper Planting Prevents Problems

by Contributor May 30, 2016


As a tree ages and develops problems, arborists and property owners must often take action to keep the tree healthy and safe. Sometimes, simple steps, such as supplemental fertilization or minor corrective pruning, may be enough to solve the problem. However, in some unfortunate cases, these simple solutions are not adequate, and the tree may require drastic pruning, supportive braces, or, in a worst-case scenario, outright removal

The sad part is that many – if not most – of these problems are avoidable by planting trees correctly in the first place. Poor planting can cause trees to lean, develop roots that wrap around the trunk or simply fail to thrive, among other ailments. 

So, the next time you are thinking about planting trees, remember these tips, or simply call Arborist Now to schedule your tree installation appointment. Planting trees properly will keep them problem free for years. 

Your trees will thank you – now and in the future. 

Start with Suitable Species 

Nothing dooms a tree installation project more quickly and completely than selecting unsuitable species for the location. Stick to species that will thrive in the local soil and climate, attain the right size for the location and fit in well with the other plants and trees in the area. Additionally, it is always wise to select native species whenever possible. 

Select Specimens with Strong Structure

Structure refers to the distribution of branches and the overall shape of the tree; trees with poor structure are at increased risk of failure. While arborists have the training and experience to evaluate myriad variables, laypersons can improve the chances of selecting proper trees by simply avoiding those with codominant stems or unbalanced crowns.  

Dig Down to the Designated Depth 

Many people plant trees too deeply. Avoid this problem by digging a hole about the same depth as the distance from the trunk flare to the bottom of the root ball, and at least three times the width of the tree’s root ball. If you plant the tree correctly, at least two of the tree’s primary roots should be between 1 and 3 inches below the surface, measured about 4 inches away from the trunk. 

Arrange the Roots Radially

Once you have dug an ideal hole; insert the tree and begin gently fanning out the roots. Try to space them roughly equally throughout the hole, but do not use excessive force to do so. Use great care to avoid harming the thin absorbing roots, which are crucial for the tree’s health. After planting the tree in the soil, cover the roots with the dirt from the hole and tamp it down lightly. 

Soak the Soil

Always water the soil after planting trees. When watering trees – particularly young ones – it is more beneficial to provide larger quantities of water less frequently, than to repeatedly water the soil with small quantities. The former encourages the roots to penetrate deeply into the soil, while the latter encourages them to remain close to the surface. Deeper roots will help protect the tree in times of drought and strengthen it against high winds. 

Contact Arborist Now, and have our skilled arborists complete your entire tree installation project. Alternatively, if you would prefer to do the work yourself, consider consulting with one of our arborists before you start planting trees, to ensure you have selected the best species for the site. 


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