Planting a tree in the spring allows it to become established sooner, grow more, and thrive when the warm weather arrives.
Planting in the Spring is even more important when planting bare rootstock. Most encapsulated and container-grown stock, as well as trees wrapped in burlap, can be planted any other time in the growing season, but there are great benefits from being planted in the spring. Here are many tips to help you achieve success when having a tree planted in the Spring.
SPRING PLANTING TIPS
During the process of transporting trees, it is important to protect them from over exposure to wind, possible drying out, and rough handling. The planting hole should be dug no less than two feet wider than the root ball. The tree should be planted around an inch higher than the depth of the container grown in. Pockets of air should be removed through watering and packing after the tree has been planted. Fill in the planting hole with a combination of nearby soil, and soil enhancements such as natural material or topsoil.
It is important to never directly add fertilizer to the roots. Wait around a year before fertilizing. This allows the tree to become fixed into the ground. It is important to cultivate the area around the anchor of a freshly planted tree and mulch. Do not place plastic under the mulch and be sure to keep the mulch away from the trunk of the tree.
When working with bare root and packaged trees, spread roots before adding soil. Gently lift the plant to the accurate depth, as the soil is added. When the hole is about three-quarters full of soil, fill it with water to remove air pockets, and then add more soil before watering again.
For trees that are balled and wrapped in burlap, raise only by the soil ball, and be cautious not to loosen it. Remove all the twine, pull the burlap away from the trunk of the tree. Be sure no burlap is above the ground after planting. Backfill the hole around three-quarters full, wet the soil ball slowly with water, then complete the hole by filling it with soil.
Encapsulated and container grown trees should be set aside at the planting location. The roots of these trees need to be handled with care. If container-grown roots are growing in a coil, make vertical cuts on the sides of the soil around the roots, and make a crisscross cut on the lowest part to cut nets of roots. Plant as you would a tree that is balled or wrapped in burlap.
It is important to remember that trees need a good amount of water throughout the growing season; watering throughout the summer is vital to a tree’s establishment. Short and constant watering can stunt deep root growth, so providing a slow flow of water for a few hours at the base of a tree works best.
Ensure that your trees do not get infected by insects or diseases during that crucial first part of the year. On tiny trees, caterpillars can be removed by hand. A good blast with a garden hose will assist with controlling aphids or spider mites. Frequent care and observation guarantee healthy trees.