Landscaping is a popular do-it-yourself project: How hard can it be? Run to your local plant nursery and buy a tree, dig a hole, pop the tree in, and your landscaping project is done for the weekend. However, there are some pitfalls to DIY tree planting that a savvy homeowner can avoid by calling an expert.
While you may be able to easily identify a healthy tree in the nursery, chances are you aren’t familiar with various characteristics of the hundreds of specimens you’ll find there. Do firs grow well in heavy clay? Can that magnolia handle a brisk wind on the northern corner of your home? Will that crape myrtle dry out, or can it tolerate a southern exposure? (What IS a southern exposure?) There’s a tree that will thrive in each of the microclimates in your yard, but you need an expert to help you identify the different zones on your property and help you plan the best place for each plant.
Consulting with an arborist is a great first step when you decide to improve your yard. Aside from telling you which trees will thrive in your yard, an arborist will assess the condition of the greenery already there. Many tree pests are not visible with the naked eye. You may see a few leaves curling, but unseen infestation in your existing tree will infect the new growths you’re planting. A company offering tree health consultations and reports can save you money in the long run.
Soil Prep or “The Hole”
A tree expert can get your trees off to a good start with recommendations on amending soil and digging the correct type of hole for the plant. Most homeowners don’t realize that tree roots are not usually huge tap roots; they spread even wider than the canopy of the tree. This affects the shape of the hole, as well as the manner of soil preparation around the tree. Give your tree roots the best chance at healthy growth.
You may not be aware that the ideal time of year to plant varies from tree to tree. For example, dogwoods may not do well when planted in early summer. They need a rest period before the summer heat to recover from transplant stress. Ideally, one would plant them when the fall weather cools. A tree expert can examine the plants you’re considering and advise the best time of year to put them in the ground.
Finally, your tree expert will know the latest methods for staking and fertilizing. Improperly staking a tree can actually kill it by cutting off the flow of nutrients from the roots. This is usually the result of using a landscape tie that does not degrade.
Timberline Tree Service in Canada offers tree health consultations. You can contact us at 905-778-9438 to talk to a tree expert about your project. Call today and schedule a consultation with one of our licensed arborists.