EARLY TREE PLANTING
Trees are the cornerstones of our ecosystem - as air recycling, food-producing, shelter-providing powerhouses that plants, animals, and humans reap the benefits from. They provide the very oxygen that we breathe, and we can all agree that our outdoor landscapes simply wouldn’t be the same without them. Not to mention, beyond their beautification and environmental benefits, they also offer quite the bang for our buck as they bolster our property values.
If you want to introduce more trees to your home, the spring is a fantastic opportunity in our cooler Indiana climate to do so. By planting in the early spring, you’re optimizing its ability to thrive, growing healthy and strong. Here are our tips on planting trees in the early spring:
The spring is the perfect time for choosing and planting trees. You’re excited to embrace growth and new excuses to enjoy the mild spring weather outside, and the Garden Center is stocked full of our best selection of trees ready for the busy spring season. You’ll have the best selection of the year to choose the strongest and healthiest tree that’s the right fit for your yard!
Not only will you enjoy the better selection, but the spring is also a great time to plant trees, too. By getting started in the spring, your new addition will have plenty of time over the whole spring, summer, and fall to get established and ready so that the winter freeze doesn’t catch them unprepared.
DAMMANN’S TIPS FOR SPRING PLANTING
Plan ahead early. With your yard covered in a blanket of snow, the winter might seem like a strange time to start thinking about our garden and landscape. While there isn’t much growing, it’s the perfect time to start planning for the next season. Once spring hits, you’ll be so busy enough doing other outdoor chores that you’ll be thankful you thought it all out first. Think about what you want to plant, where, and what you’ll need so you’re ready for action when the snow melt happens.
Choose a site carefully. Part of the planning process, but so important it deserves its own mention, is choosing a site. There’s a lot to consider - you’ll want a spot that will accommodate the matured size and shape of the tree, serve its desired function, like shade or privacy, and fits with its needs.
Plant early, but wait until everything is thawed. You don’t need a calendar to guide you, you just need to wait until the ground thaws out! The soil is warm enough when you can easily dig it up.
Choose the right tree. Trees like poplar, willow, birch, dogwood, magnolia, and fruit trees certainly need spring planting, while others can handle either early or late season planting. Get to know and plan what type of tree you want and schedule accordingly.
HOW TO PLANT A TREE
Prepare your site before you buy a tree so that you can plant as soon as possible when you bring your new tree home. Remove grass within a foot and a half of where you want to plant, and dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball. If your soil isn’t ideal, you might want to dig even further and supplement with peat, loam, and fertilizer before you plant to give your new tree the boost it needs.
Trees that are purchased bare-root need some extra love and care to avoid damage before planting. Loosen the roots very gently with water to make sure they aren’t crowded and cramped when you plant. After you dig the hole to plant, create a mound at the bottom to set the root crown on, so that the roots can all start off by growing downward. Then, fill in the hole with good quality soil.
Trees with their roots bound in burlap should be planted so that the top of their root ball is even with the surface of the ground with the burlap removed. Fill the hole in two-thirds around the roots with soil, and fill the rest with water to help settle the soil. After the water drains, finish filling up the hole. You can do the same for container trees too, removing them from their pots just before you plant.
Most mature and established trees do a great job of maintaining themselves, but a young and newly planted tree will need some TLC while they start growing. Deep watering is vital to make sure that the roots develop downwards. Deep roots make for strong trees that are stable and resilient to even dry spells.
The amount that you water and frequency will be subject to changes to things like rainfall, temperature, humidity, and how well your soil drains - but no matter the conditions, you shouldn’t let your roots dry out. Soak the tree deeply a few times a week to start and adjust from there. Depending on your tree, you might need to include fertilizer in your watering schedule, too.
For young trees, especially those planted in windy spots or on a slope, you might want to consider staking them to coach them to grow in the right direction. Be cautious and delicate with your ties. They could cause damage to the bark of the tree if tied too tightly or using the wrong material. Staking is useful sometimes, but isn’t always needed - if you can let your tree grow naturally without risking damaging it, that’ll be the best option and make for the strongest tree.
Whether you want natural shade for your yard and home, want to give back to the environment, want to plant something for your kids, or want fruit in your own yard, there’s a tree for you. With the end of winter approaching, now is the perfect time to start planning for how you can bring a beautiful tree home with you to introduce to your yard and family. Don’t hesitate - get planning now!