Is your yard lacking something? With the popularity of planned developments, many houses these days seem to be missing the thing that gives a lawn striking personality: trees! A surprising number of new homeowners overlook adding trees to their yard, perhaps put-off by the hefty price tag and lack of experience. Fortunately, tree husbandry is much easier than one would expect, and we’ve got the tips to help you succeed.
Choose the Correct Tree
The first and arguably most important step is to select a tree appropriate for your needs. Are you looking for a shade tree, a tree to act as a windbreak, or a tree for privacy? Different species suit different needs. If you have absolutely no idea where to begin, the Arbor Day Foundation offers a Tree Wizard to help you make a choice that will work best for you.
Make Room for Maturation
Now that you’ve got your tree, you need to know where to place it. Account for the height and spread of your fully grown tree when making this decision, otherwise, you’ll end up with structural problems or a severely deformed tree. Keep tall trees away from utility lines, and keep a buffer zone around your house of at least 10 feet for small trees, 15 for medium, and 20 for tall. This will help to minimize complications from both the root system and the outward growth of branches.
Survey Your Site
Once you’ve picked a spot, you should evaluate the soil for suitability. Where you’d like to plant your tree, dig a hole ten inches deep. If this is already difficult, you may have some problems: if you have a hard time getting through your soil, so will the roots of your tree. Once you’ve got your hole, fill it with water in the evening and leave it for ten hours overnight. After ten hours, go out and check the water level. If it’s not empty, you’ve got compacted soil with poor drainage, and you’ll need to either till the top foot or so with added organic material to break it up, or choose a tree that doesn’t need well-drained soil.
With everything sorted, it’s time to get digging. You want a wide, shallow hole for planting; too deep, and your tree will die within a few years. Keep your hole just deep enough that the roots are at the soil line, or even slightly above if you’d like to add mulch. While depth is a killer, width is a guardian angel. Every extra inch of diameter you dig gives your tree a better chance of surviving. Aim for a hole at least twice the width of your tree’s root ball, but three times the width is even better. Fill in your hole loosely to allow the roots to spread, build a berm with soil to help hold water, and soak your new tree!
Seek a Specialist
Even if you do all the research and proper planning, you can still encounter problems you might not be equipped to handle. Here, you’ll want to consult a professional like Pete & Ron’s Tree Service, Inc. Before you start, a landscaper can help you to ensure you’ve chosen an appropriate species and location. Once you’ve got your tree in, if you start to notice problems like disease or structural issues, an arborist can come out and provide some aid.
Filling out your yard is a great way to add appeal and attractiveness, and a big, beautiful tree adds a lot of bang for your buck. Don’t be intimidated into thinking tree husbandry isn’t for you. Follow these simple tips to maximize your chance of success, and revel in the gorgeousness nature provides while lounging under your new tree.