So you’ve decided to buy a new tree have you? Well, the idea sounds simple enough on the surface, but it can actually be quite involved. You must keep in mind that the responsibility for correctly caring for your tree begins while you are choosing the tree you want, and that how that tree is treated during its first years of existence will leave a definite mark upon it in relation to its form, endurance, and even the length of its life. Here are some suggestions to help you get started in the right way with your tree and how to maintain its health for the duration of its life:
- Purchasing the Right Tree for Your Needs
In order to ensure that you and your tree will have a long and happy relationship, it is essential that you pick the tree which is right for you. Remember that if you are lucky, a healthy tree should last many decades, so in the long run it will pay off for you to be absolutely certain that your new tree will flourish where you intend to plant it.
That’s why the first thing you should do is to spend some time considering the exact reason you you are purchasing your new tree. Is it for appearances, shade, privacy, or will it be a sidewalk tree, planted near the curb. Your purpose for buying the tree will affect the appropriateness of various trees.
What this means is, for example, if you place trees that are going to grow to become huge under your power lines, down the road you are going to be faced with the problem of their branches entangling with the electric lines. The end result of this will be unattractive trees with amputated limbs.
- Where Will You Plant It?
Although it may seem that trees are sturdy and can survive practically anywhere, this assumption is incorrect. The area in which you choose to plant your tree has a tremendous impact on whether or not the tree will survive. Will the soil be too wet or too dry, will wind and severe storms be able to get to the young tree before it even has a chance to put down roots, will it get too little sunlight or too much? These are all questions you have to ask yourself before purchasing the tree.
- Choosing a Healthy Specimen
Don’t make the mistake of believing that just because you are buying your tree from a nursery that means everything is going to be just fine with it. You need to inspect your tree carefully. Some of the things you need to check for:
. Bare root tree — This means a tree not wrapped in burlap. Check for lots of roots both large and small and that they have been kept moist.
. Balled and burlapped tree (B&B) — This refers to a tree which has a soil ball encasing the roots. The ball should not be broken, nor should the roots be growing around the bottom of the trunk. This type of tree should never be carried by the trunk or branches.
. Potted — there should be no large roots encircling the trunk. Also, the soil and roots should be encased tightly together.
- Mulch Matters
Once you have planted your tree, mulching it is essential.
. Insulates the soil — Mulch aides the tree by insulating the soil, thus protecting it from extremes of hot and cold temperatures.
. Holds water — By doing this mulch helps the roots to stay moist.
. Prevents weeds
. Reduces damage from the lawn mower
In the case of a newly planted tree, always water directly after you place it in the ground. Continue watering thoroughly for the first two years of your tree’s life. This is essential because it is at this time that your tree is fighting to grow its roots into the soil.