Thinking about planting a new tree or landscape? To properly plant trees, you should understand the characteristics of the planting sites (above and below ground growing space, soils, drainage, exposure, and light levels); the tolerances and growth characteristics of different tree species, and the benefits you want to receive from the trees.
If planted properly, your tree will be a lifetime investment that increases in value and provides numerous benefits throughout the coming years. If improperly planted, as many are these days, time and money is wasted as the tree’s health declines and it fails to get established and grow.
Before planting a new tree, do some homework and research your site’s conditions and limitations before selecting a species to plant. Once the site analysis is completed, you can select a species of tree that will thrive on that site and meet your design criteria and function for the landscape. Next you will need to find and obtain quality trees, and prepare the site for planting.
Now you are ready to plant your new tree. It might seem as easy as digging a hole and burying the roots, but there really is a lot more to it, especially if you want your tree to survive. Below are some excellent websites and downloadable publications that you should review before selecting and planting a new tree.
Planting and Aftercare of Community Trees, a Penn State Publication
Planting Ornamentals a Penn State Publication
Planting Trees in Your Community, a Penn State Publication for Youth
The Penn State Horticulture Website contains lots of information, downloadable publications, newsletters and other helpful tips.
Cornell University’s Urban Horticulture Institute – Learn more about Structural Soils, Site Assessment, Plant Selection and planting techniques (including a New and Improved Bare Root Planting Method)
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society – contains information about tree planting and care, including short how to videos.
New Tree Planting – a good homeowner primer from ISA
Transplanting Landscape Trees – TLC for Trees
Transplanting Trees Part 1- Preparing the Site – an article by Dr. Gary Watson, Researcher at the Morton Arboretum
Transplanting Trees Part 2- Moving and Storing Trees – an article by Dr. Gary Watson, Researcher at the Morton Arboretum
Transplanting Trees Part 3 – Transplanting Aftercare – an article by Dr. Gary Watson, Researcher at the Morton Arboretum
Avoiding Excess Soil on the Root Systems of Trees, a Best Management Practice – a Morton Arboretum research article
Getting Roots Right – an article by Dr. Gary Watson, Root Researchers at the Morton Arboretum
Girdling Root Formation in Landscape Trees – article by Gary Watson, Morton Arboretum
Deep Root Research an excellent website for homeowners, landscapers and nurserymen to learn more about the causes and effects of planting trees too deep
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