Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tree Planting and Care Tips
• When to plant. Right now, while the weather is still mild. "Fall is a good time to plant," said Peggy Anne Montgomery, spokeswoman for Bailey's Nurseries. Trees will like the shorter, cooler days. You'll like the bargains. "Usually, trees are on sale, and there can be a big cost difference," she said.
• How to plant. Not too deep! The root crown should be at ground level, not beneath it, cautions Mark Stennes, plant pathologist/arborist with S&S Tree Specialties, St. Paul. "Don't plant the trunk. You can get girdling roots that try to strangle the stem."
• Then what? "Water, water, water. It's the one thing we overlook the most," Stennes said. Montgomery recommends "laying the hose down and watering deeply at least once a week until the ground freezes." And "if you fertilize without enough water, you'll do more harm than good because fertilizer increases the need for water," Stennes noted.
• Mulch for success. Stennes recommends surrounding your newly planted tree with organic wood mulch, which benefits the tree in multiple ways. "It eliminates grass and other competition, adds organic material, keeps soil temperature moderate, and conserves water," he said.
The painting is by Nancy Merkle