Tips For Starting A Tree Transplant

Transplanting a new tree from the nursery and into your yard isn't as complicated as you may think. With a little bit of early care, most trees will thrive. Whether it's an ornamental, fruit, or shade tree, the following tips can help you get your new transplant off to a healthy start.

Tip #1: Plant in native soil

When digging the planting hole and preparing the site, ignore any urges to add compost or fertilizer to the location. It may seem like these will improve the soil, helping the tree to grow stronger. Instead, they will create an island effect. Instead of growing out long roots into the native soil to anchor the tree and seek water, the tree will instead grow shorter roots into just the good soil in the immediate environment. By leaving out the soil additives, the tree will be forced to create a healthy root system to seek out the moisture and nutrients it needs.

Tip #2: Don't bind the roots

Another issue is binding the roots before the tree has a chance to grow. Make sure you remove the pot or wrapping around the root ball, including any twine. Examine the root ball and check for any large roots that are completely or nearly completely encircling the root ball. If you find this, slice through them with a clean knife before planting.

Tip #3: Create a water ring

Providing sufficient water the first year can be challenging. The first summer is the most important since trees will have begun to establish healthy root systems by the second year. One way to ensure you are providing enough water is to mound up soil in a ring around the trunk, making the enclosed area inside the ring a couple of feet in diameter and the actual soil mound about 6 inches high. Fill the ring with water a couple of times a week that first summer, especially if there is no rain. The water will slowly seep in and moisten the entire root ball. By the time the soil mound begins to melt back into the ground, the tree shouldn't need as much water.

Tip #4: Manage the wind

Your new transplant needs to be exposed to some wind. The swaying of the trunk encourages the tree to send out deeper roots to anchor it, resulting in a stronger tree. Too much wind, though, can uproot a young tree. If you are worried about wind, insert a single tree support stake into the ground a foot or so from the trunk. The stake should be similar in height to the young transplant. Next, wrap a wide strip of sturdy cloth or a tree support rope around the tree trunk and the support stake, creating a figure-8 with the rope so the crossed section sits of the rope between the stake and the trunk, and then tie it off. The rope should be taut and tied at a level just beneath the lower branches of the tree. This single tie allows for some movement, but not too much. Just remember to remove it the following spring so it doesn't bind the tree trunk as it grows. To find out more, speak with a business like Gold Creek Tree Farms, Ltd.

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