What to Know About Planting Trees

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When it comes to planting trees in Texas, you have plenty of options. That also means you probably have many questions. Where can I plant a tree? How do I go about planting them? The good news is much of what you’re wondering is answered right here for you!

The best trees to plant in Central Texas

First you must answer some questions to ensure you’re choosing the best trees to plant, and in the right location (more on the latter to come).

  • Will the tree adapt to the area’s soil?
  • Will it thrive in shade or sun, and wet or dry locations?
  • How will it handle cold temperatures?
  • Does it have specific growth requirements?
  • What will it look like in five years?
  • Does it have any specific growing requirements?
  • Will it serve functional purposes like shading, and will it meet the demand?

If you don’t know the answers, ask your arborist for assistance to start you on the right path.

Where can I plant a tree?

Once you have an idea of the type of tree you want, it’s time to decide where to plant it. You’ll want to consider its growing needs, climate factors, energy savings and proximity to building structures.

A tree professional can advise and develop a strategic location of trees around your property that meets all your needs. Planting trees strategically will not only provide visual appeal, but also conserve energy and lower utility costs. For instance, three well-placed deciduous trees on the south, east and west sides of a home can shade it from summer sun and lower cooling costs by 10 to 50 percent. Staggered rows of evergreens on the northwest side (or the side with heightened winter winds) will block winds and lower heating costs.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

The heat of summer primes the ground and sets up a tree up for its initial growth period. This means fall is the best time to plant a tree because it can easily take root and flourish through a typical Texas winter and spring season.

How to Plant a Tree

Use these guidelines as you figure out how to plant a tree to ensure it starts off healthy and vibrant:

  • Handle the tree by the root ball, not the trunk.
  • Remove any covering and make the root ball is not broken, which could signal damaged or dead roots.
  • Dig a hole with at least six inches of clearance around the root system, making sure the root ball is settled on the soil’s foundation.
  • Allow for settling and drainage by planting the tree slightly above the ground surface.
  • Backfill the hole using native soil only, rather than adding enhancements or fertilizers.
  • Firmly pat down the soil, and water the tree to encourage settling and fill in air pockets.
  • Don’t fertilize your tree after planting. Wait until spring and do so sparingly. Heavy fertilizer can damage, burn and even kill your tree.
  • Add four to six inches of mulch around the base of the tree to prevent weed growth and retain moisture.
  • Thoroughly water your tree once daily for the first two weeks, then once a week as the tree buds.

You may have chosen the best trees to plant in your area but giving them the right care from day one is essential for long life and health. Regular tree maintenance will ensure that’s the case for yours!