Grow with KARE: Tips for picking, planting trees

Tips for picking and planting trees

CHANHASSEN, Minn.-  Planting a new tree in your yard is such a great idea, and the selection right now is really good.

The problem is the selection is huge. You have to pick the right tree for the right spot.  

We spent some time out at the Arboretum to talk trees and that is a great place to go to see virtually every tree that grows around here, see how big they could get and also what kind of landscape they flourish in.

We asked Ryan Gustafson from Davey Tree to join us to talk about trees. 

Here are his tips:

When planting a tree you have to take into consideration the site or location where the tree is going to be planted before deciding the type of tree to plant.  When picking out the tree you want to plant look at how large the tree is going to get at full maturity.  When planting large growing trees do not plant them too close to your house, or under power lines.  Observe how much sun or shade the planting location gets, and how wet or dry the soil is and choose a tree that will do well in those conditions.

There are three main types of trees you can buy to plant; bare root, container grown, and balled and burlapped.  Bare root are usually pretty small and can be easily planted.  Container grown trees come in various sizes and are most common in garden stores.  When planting container grown trees you will want to break up the root systems, as the roots often circle around the container which can lead to issues as the trees mature.  Balled and burlapped (B&B) are larger trees and usually pretty heavy, and when planting them you will want to remove the wire basket and burlap before planting. 

If you are planting container grown or B&B trees you will need to pull soil away from the trunk of the tree to find the main root system.  When digging the hole it should be twice the size of the root ball of the tree you are planting, and mix compost and topsoil in with the original soil as you back fill the planting hole around the trees root system.  When putting the tree in the ground the root system should be at grade, planting the tree too deep can lead to issues down the road.

After planting mulch should be installed around the tree to keep grass and mowers away from the tree, mulch should not be placed against the trunk of the tree though.  Water the tree in thoroughly after planting, and keep the tree watered throughout the growing season.  If we do not receive an inch of rain in a week, run a hose at a trickle under the tree for a half hour twice a week.  It is also important to prune trees at a young age to help develop good structure and prevent issues as the trees mature.

It is important to plant and maintain healthy trees for many reasons as they provide us with many benefits such as adding to the value of your property, shading your house and reducing cooling costs, and reducing the amount of storm water that reaches our lakes and rivers are just a few of many benefits.

MRyan Gustafson's three favorite trees are Ginkgo, Kentucky Coffee Tree, and Northern Redbud. 

Bobby's favorite tree is a Sugar Maple and Bel's favorite tree is a Linden.


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