How do you plant a tree? First, you need the right conditions. The perfect time to plant a tree would be during the rainy season for people in the tropics. For people in temperate zones, the best time is in the dormant season. Try to plant your trees right after all the leaves drop in autumn or right before the buds of spring come out.
Here are the steps to plant a tree.
- Dig a hole twice as wide and a little more shallow than the ball of roots. You do this because if you dug up the soil under the ball of roots, the soil would settle further down and the tree will be lower than intended. The loose soil around the roots will hold water well so that the tree roots can absorb the water more easily.
- Once you dig your hole, use a pick or a shovel to loosen up the soil on the sides and bottom of the hole. If the soil is not loosened, the smooth firm walls of your hole will prevent the roots from spreading, as they need to.
- If you are replanting a tree from a potted container, be gentle but firm when taking off the container. Lay the tree on its side and hit the bottom and sides of the container until the root ball is loosened.
- Make sure the root ball doesn’t have any circling roots. If it does, move them. If left that way, they will grow larger in that pattern instead of spreading out.
- Do not cover the very top of the roots (where the roots meet the tree trunk) with soil. Rot can develop in the base of the tree trunk if soil covers it. Try to have the very top of the root ball be about 1 to 3 centimeters above the soil.
- Turn the tree while you have a chance, before the tree is settled. If you prefer one side of the tree, turn it towards an easily viewed point.
- Make sure that the tree is standing upright. If the tree seems lopsided, tilt the root ball until it looks straight.
- If you add some fertilizers as a booster for the soil, it will give the tree a boost too. Remember that the fertilizer isn’t permanent.
- Pack the soil as you fill the whole again. Press down firmly with the heel of your foot to collapse any air pockets in the ground.
- Water the tree. A tree that has a dry root ball can stand in moist soil without absorbing water.
- If the tree still looks lopsided when you are done, put a stake next to it to straighten it up using some rope. Plan to take the stakes away when the tree can support itself in about six to twelve months.
- Use a lot of mulch. Cover the entire planting area except a small area around the base of the trunk. Mulch can give nutrients and it will be hard for weeds and grass to grow around the tree.
This is how you can plant a tree. Have fun!
“How to Plant a Tree.” Plant for the Planet. 1 April 2007 <http://www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign>.
"Tree Planting Tips." UNEP-Billion Tree Campaign. 1 April 2007 <http://www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign/>.
Permission to use the photograph on this page is granted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page> (April, 2007).
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