Adding trees to your landscape can help beautify your home, but it involves some careful planning.
Sometimes, people make the mistake of planting them too close to their driveway or to their home, which could cause their driveway to buckle or their foundation to crack. Once you have found the ideal location, it's time to select a healthy tree.
"The most important thing really is the framework of the tree, the wood part," Jeff Gatewood, a Nursery Owner, says. "A good, clean, straight trunk and a good even branching habit. More important than anything else is the framework because it's going to be there year after year."
Trees are usually sold as bare root or in a root ball or container.
"When it's in a pot it has its entire root system underneath of it in the pot," Gatewood says. "Whereas a ball one has been cut and dug up out of a field. So it hasn't got all of its roots by any means and it has to spend the first two years regenerating all of its roots, whereas a tree in a pot immediately can start growing on top where the customer wants to see it grow."
Gatewood says a common mistake he sees is the planting depth. The top of the soil in the pots should be exactly level with the soil in your lawn. A tiny bit above won't hurt, but an inch or two deep can hurt the tree.
"You never want the grass to grow around the trunk of the tree," Gatewood says. "Always take out a big circle of sod, four to six feet in diameter, plant the tree in the middle, mulch it."
When it comes to mulch, do not pile it up along the trunk because the mulch stays moist and that attracts insects and causes rot.
Once you've scouted a location, call 811 to schedule an underground utility inspection. The free service will insure that you don't dig through a utility line.
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