“To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees.” -Theodore Roosevelt
The Arbor Day Foundation strives to conserve our natural resources and educate all of us on the importance of green living. Arbor Day especially focuses on the importance of trees and how they create healthier living in a variety of ways. From cooling and oxygen to cleaning our air and water, trees provide a multitude of benefits! Here are a few tips on how to plant and grow a successful tree:
1. Choose the right tree for your area
The right climate, soil, and atmosphere are all important items to consider before selecting the right tree for your space. Arbor Day has a great online resource to help you determine what kind of tree will grow best in your area. Also, be cognisant of the kinds of wildlife in your area who may find a home in your tree.
2. Understand the benefits of certain trees
There are many different benefits that trees can offer you! Some trees will provide you with more shade, and other trees will attract more wildlife than others. Regardless of each individual tree’s benefits, know that all trees make great impacts on the environment. Trees actively combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide in the air and releasing oxygen instead.
3. How much time are you willing to put into your tree?
Some trees require more effort than others, especially when the tree has just been planted. Almost all trees go through a period of time called “transplanting stress,” which takes place from the time the tree is planted and then established in its new home. It may take a few vulnerable years for a tree to establish its root system. This is a critical time to evaluate your tree’s growth and to protect it from any potentially damaging environmental factors, such as extreme weather conditions. This can require a good amount of time on your part, but just remember that your tree will be contributing to the environment for many years to come!
4. Prepare your digging site accordingly
A very common error first time tree planters often do is dig a hole that is too big and too deep for the selected tree. Tree pits should be dug no deeper than the depth of the root system. The hole should not be dug deeper than the mass or else the tree can struggle to grow. The soil should also be not too excessively dry or wet, and shouldn’t be blocked by anything that could interrupt water circulation. It’s important that your tree has adequate access to the water that it needs to thrive!
5. Learn to prune your trees
Pruning is the process of removing any damaged branches or structural defects in order to help your tree grow and find sunlight. While this process helps trees, it should only be used sparingly and should be done with the utmost caution. Try to maintain the natural form of the tree as you proceed with the pruning process. By cutting the parts of the tree that are not growing as well, you are able to give the rest of the tree the energy and water that it needs.
6. Plant in early spring or fall
Overall, the best time for you to start planting your trees is in early spring or early fall. Planting in the early spring generally suggests a favorable climate for your tree to truly benefit from both the sunshine and the springtime rains. The tree will be most actively growing at this time. If you’re worried about needing to cut extensive roots, fall is a better time because your tree isn’t as active as it is during the spring. Both spring and fall have different benefits depending on the tree that you are planting.
Big R has a wide variety of trees to choose from to begin building a green backyard for you to enjoy for years to come! Big R’s Garden Center has experts to get you on the right track as well as supplies to keep the tree growing strong. Contact your local Big R for the types of trees available near you! We’d love to help you find the perfect tree for you!