Tree Planting guidelines - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Tree planting guidelines

Posted: Updated:

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - With both Arbor Day and Earth Day coming up, here are some tips for those wanting plant a tree or two:

"Too often, consumers waste hundreds of dollars on trees that will die because they were planted too deep," cautions Tchukki Andersen, a staff arborist with the Tree Care Industry Association.

"Proper planting is absolutely essential for the success of a transplanted tree," says Andersen. "Using quality plants and following up with good tree care practices, such as watering, pruning and fertilizing, will not save a poorly planted tree. The most common mistake is planting the root ball too deep," she says.

Homeowners can purchase trees packaged in three common forms:

Bare-Root plants may be sold with the roots tightly packed in a moisture-retaining medium that is wrapped with paper or plastic, or with roots loosely covered by a moist packing medium. Roots must be adequately moistened prior to planting. Roots are spread out evenly in the hole when planting.

Balled and Burlapped (B & B) trees are moved with a ball of soil protecting their root system. Soil balls are heavy, so professional arborists who have proper equipment should be hired to plant large trees. Smaller B & B trees should be carried with a hand under the ball. Carrying a B & B tree by the stem or branches can result in serious root damage. When planting, carefully remove the top layer of soil down to the first structural root. Set the root ball in the hole, position the tree, then remove twine and nails. Remove or fold back burlap from the upper third of the root ball.

Container-Grown trees have the advantage of a root system that is relatively undisturbed at planting, but beware of "pot-bound" container trees. Do not buy container trees that have a large amount of roots completely circling the inside of the pot. These trees will take a long time to get established after planting because the roots have difficulty growing beyond the thick ring of circling roots. Immediately before planting container trees, prune the any circling roots. Root pruning can cut up to 50 percent of the roots in container trees but this is still sufficient to permit plant establishment. This compares with pruning about 10 percent or less of the root system being transplanted with B & B trees. Always remove the container prior to planting.

Andersen advises consumers to follow these planting guidelines:

Measure the height and diameter of the root ball or root spread.

Dig the hole just deep enough to allow the first structural root to be at level grade. The hole's diameter should be two to three times the diameter of the root ball or root spread.

Set the tree on undisturbed solid ground in the center of the hole. The tree should be planted so that the root flare, the base of the tree trunk where the roots begin to "flare-out," is visible and above grade.

Backfill with soil from the planting hole, using water to pack or settle the soil around the root ball. Do not tamp soil by stepping on it.

Mulch the planting area with 2 to 4 inches of an organic mulch such as wood chips. Do not mulch up to or against the trunk. Start the mulch 6 inches away from the tree trunk.

Trees should be pruned after planting to remove only broken, damaged, diseased or dead branches.

Stake and/or protect the trunk of the tree if there is a real potential for wind damage or lawn mower injury. Remove the guy wires (string, rope, wire or other used with supports) when the staking is no longer needed or the tree could be injured or even killed from girdling by the wire.

One to three years after planting,prune to develop a good branch structure once the tree has become established in its new home. Never remove more than 25 percent of total foliage in one year. (Depending on the tree and its condition, some arborists advocate capping pruning at even a lower percentage).

Fertilizing is not recommended at the time of planting.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 28 Monroe area businesses cited for selling to minors

    28 Monroe area businesses cited for selling to minors

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:51:09 GMT
    Baton Rouge, La. (KNOE 8 News ATC) - Agents with the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control recently conducted compliance checks at 173 businesses in the Monroe and West Monroe areas. During those compliance checks, 28 of the businesses, which consist of area restaurants, bars and convenience stores, were caught selling alcohol and tobacco products to minors.
    Baton Rouge, La. (KNOE 8 News ATC) - Agents with the Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control recently conducted compliance checks at 173 businesses in the Monroe and West Monroe areas. During those compliance checks, 28 of the businesses, which consist of area restaurants, bars and convenience stores, were caught selling alcohol and tobacco products to minors.
  • Two arrests, officer tazed at Watermelon Festival

    Two arrests, officer tazed at Watermelon Festival

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:41 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:41:59 GMT
    FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish sheriff’s deputies made at least two arrests over the Watermelon Festival weekend, one that involved a deputy getting tazed.
    FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News UPSO) - Union Parish sheriff’s deputies made at least two arrests over the Watermelon Festival weekend, one that involved a deputy getting tazed.
  • Union Parish School District employees get a raise

    Union Parish School District employees get a raise

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:17 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:17:56 GMT
    FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's Christmas in July for the Union Parish School Board employees. At this month's school board meeting, the board voted to give every employee a raise. 
    FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's Christmas in July for the Union Parish School Board employees. At this month's school board meeting, the board voted to give every employee a raise. 
  • West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    West Monroe man arrested for meth possession

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:09 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:09:38 GMT
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
    WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - West Monroe Police arrested a man early Sunday morning for possession of drugs.
  • McDonald's could lose "franchise" protection

    McDonald's could lose "franchise" protection

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:17:44 GMT
    (AP) - Under pressure from a barrage of lawsuits seeking fair treatment and wages, McDonald's could be on the verge of losing one of its main protections.
    (AP) - Under pressure from a barrage of lawsuits seeking fair treatment and wages, McDonald's could be on the verge of losing one of its main protections.
  • 17 hurt after multi-vehicle Madison Parish wreck

    17 hurt after multi-vehicle Madison Parish wreck

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:16:12 GMT
    DELTA, La. (AP) - A multiple-vehicle accident on the Mississippi River bridge connecting Madison Parish, Louisiana, and Warren County, Mississippi, has sent 17 people to a hospital, most with minor injuries.
    DELTA, La. (AP) - A multiple-vehicle accident on the Mississippi River bridge connecting Madison Parish, Louisiana, and Warren County, Mississippi, has sent 17 people to a hospital, most with minor injuries.
  • Passenger dies on US Airways flight to Phoenix

    Passenger dies on US Airways flight to Phoenix

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:18:01 GMT
    PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities in Phoenix say a passenger has died on a US Airways flight to Phoenix from Honolulu after a suffering an unknown medical emergency.
    PHOENIX (AP) - Authorities in Phoenix say a passenger has died on a US Airways flight to Phoenix from Honolulu after a suffering an unknown medical emergency.
  • Top Ebola doctor dies from the virus

    Top Ebola doctor dies from the virus

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 16:33:58 GMT
    Patrick Sawyer had one stop to make before heading home to Minnesota to celebrate his daughters' birthdays: a conference in Lagos, Nigeria.
    Patrick Sawyer had one stop to make before heading home to Minnesota to celebrate his daughters' birthdays: a conference in Lagos, Nigeria.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KNOE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.