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Tue, 07/10/2012 - 10:57 — Calloway's Intern
Fall Tree Planting in the Lonestar State
In most areas of the country, trees can be planted in early Spring or Fall. This is not the same story here in Texas. Here, Summer seems to show up the week after Valentine’s Day and has a blazing heat as hot as the sun itself. To prepare your new trees for the sweltering conditions they will endure a few months after Spring, plant them in the Fall between September and mid October. This will give them a fighting chance and allow time to establish a developed root system throughout Winter and Spring.
The key to planting a tree, besides a Fall planting, is location, location, location. Generally speaking, once you plant a tree, it is a permanent fixture. The main area you want to evaluate when picking the location is above your head. Check for future problems, like power lines abovehead. With age, the tree will ultimately have to be pruned away from any electrical lines taking away aesthetic value and possibly diminishing the life expectancy of your tree.
Now that you have the perfect spot, give yourself a pat on the back because you are done with the technical part. The process is downhill from that point. You just have to dig a hole and bury a tree in it. Of course there are some specifications to digging the hole. Dig your hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball or container of the tree. You want it wider so that you can backfill the sides with loose soil, giving the roots a chance to break through into their new surroundings, not staying in the shape of their previous home. As you fill with loose soil, stop about halfway and soak the hole with water to remove any air pockets. Then finish filling in the soil around the tree leaving a berm or bowl shape around the trunk to collect water.
Once you have the tree in ground, follow-up with preventive maintenance and upkeep. Add a thick 3” layer of mulch on top of the soil around the tree out to the drip line, or area directly located under the outer circumference of the tree. This will insulate the roots, retain moisture and keep pesky weeds down. Feed with compost in late November or early December to fortify the tree during the cold season. If wind is an issue, you may need to stake the tree to keep it from blowing over. However, remove the stakes about a year after being installed. Leaving a tree staked too long could cause damage to the tree later.
You now have your tree planted and are ready to focus on root growth through Winter. Come Spring, a whole new ball game begins. Good luck to you and best of wishes to your new earth-friendly friend.
You just have to dig a hole and bury a tree in it.