Fall is a recommended time of year for tree planting in many regions, including Northeast Ohio. The climate is typically cool and trees have plenty of time to establish their roots before the heat and rain of spring arrives to stimulate their top growth. It can be very easy to be so excited to plant your new trees that you ignore certain planning steps or potentially overlook an important task that could protect your tree and help it grow strong. Be sure to reference this list of dos and don’ts for your fall tree planting:
DON’T forget to check below-ground utilities. It is critically important to check for any underground utilities that may be in the area where you intend to plant a tree. Many utilities like power lines are run underground and oftentimes these lines are not buried much deeper than the hole you intend to dig. If you are unsure where these lines are located in your yard, play it safe and call your utility company before digging.
DO look up before you plant. Your tree may not be tall at the time of planting, but it will grow! If there are above-ground power lines, consider how your tree’s growth may result in an unsafe clearance between the tree and the power lines. A tree’s branches intertwining with power lines creates a very dangerous situation and will require your utility company to trim the tree branches away from the lines.
DO recognize “transplant shock.” If you purchased your tree from a nursery, it may have been balled or wrapped in a burlap sack. When you remove the tree from its sack and place it in the ground, it may experience what is referred to as “transplant shock.” This is a state of slowed growth. In general, the signs of transplant shock can be described as your tree losing its vitality. You may notice wilting leaves, curled or rolled leaves, and leaf scorch, an unnatural yellowing of the leaves.
DON’T stake your new tree unless it is necessary. Trees typically grow and develop stronger trunks and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting.
DO mulch the base of the tree. The Arbor Day Foundation says, “A newly planted tree’s best friend is mulch.” We agree! Mulch does so much to protect your tree: It insulates the soil and acts as a buffer for the tree from extreme cold or hot temperatures; it helps the tree retain its moisture; and helps stifle any weed growth.
Do you have questions about fall tree planting? Give the team at Independent Tree a call. Our certified arborists are here to help ensure your trees grow healthy and strong.
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