What Are the Best Practices for Planting Trees in Your Yard?

Caring for Newly Planted Trees

The Soil Quality of Your Yard

Soil quality can have a tremendous influence on the growth and nutrition of a tree, especially a young tree that has been recently planted into the ground. Soil can be composed of many different materials, however organic materials have been known to be very beneficial for providing nutrients to the root system of newly planted trees. Manure and natural compost have extreme benefits and are great soil amendments one can add to create a more nourishing ecosystem for their tree to live in. The soil is what supports the tree and has a very direct impact on its health. A tree in a nutrient dense soil will grow stronger and even faster. Planting a tree in a new yard or garden is a very stressful operation; healthy ground soil can reduce stress by providing it with nutrients it needs for combatting disease and illness.

Tree Placement in Your Yard

Many common species of trees prefer to grow in spots with a good deal of sunlight. When planting a tree it’s important to take into account both what sunlight the tree needs, as well as how the location of the tree will impact the sunlight and shade of your home. Take time to consider how the planted trees will grow over many years, and how that will change your experience at home.

Planting a tree on the west side of your home will block sunlight during the warmest part of the day, which could be a money saving bonus. If you plant a tree on the north side of the home it will cast very little shade throughout the entire day. Keep these things in mind to ensure your tree will continue providing benefits and remain healthy for many years to come.

Planting Trees Near Existing Structures

Another key factor in tree placement is understanding how much space the tree will require as it continues to grow. One of the most helpful tips when determining where to plant a tree is to ask your arborist how large the tree will grow both in height and in width. Planting a tree under utility lines may cause issues several years later as the tree expands, growing taller and wider. Planting a tree too close to a structure can also cause issues. Overcrowding a tree may cause it to grow irregularly searching for more sunlight and space to grow. A tree too close to a structure may also cause issues with the structure. Overcrowding can reduce the amount of energy a tree creates from photosynthesis and cause long-term issues. Be sure your tree has ample space to thrive and continue growing for many years.

Competing Roots & Root growth

Different tree species will grow their roots in unique ways. By working with a professional arborist they will be able to determine if the spaces you’re wanting to plant trees will be sufficient for the roots to grow. If a tree is too close to a building the roots may find its way into existing cracks in the foundation and slowly force their way through. It’s important to factor all of these circumstances into your plan when determining where to plant trees in your yard. If two trees are planted in too close of proximity they may struggle to absorb an appropriate amount of moisture. Be sure to plant trees far enough apart where they won’t be competing for the same water.

Best Time of the Year to Plant a Tree

Time of year is another important factor to take into account when planting a new tree. Because transplanting a tree is a shocking and stressful experience for the tree it is important to give the tree time to acclimate to its new soil and settle in its roots before big changes in weather. As young trees come out of dormancy in the early spring they will be able to nourish themselves and will promote healthy growth. It is still important to take extra attentive care of a tree during this period of life. Some trees prefer to be planted in the fall after the warmest parts of the year have passed. This all will depend on the species of tree; consult with your arborist to learn more about which season works best for the species of tree you’re interested in having planted.

Plant Trees That Are Native

Planting a native tree means it is likely already adapted to the native environment. It is far less likely the tree will struggle to settle in and the overall health of the tree will be easier to maintain. They will not require nearly as much care as a non-native tree trying to survive in an unfamiliar environment.

Mulching a Newly Planted Tree

Mulch can provide many benefits for a tree if used correctly. Mulch can cause water to evaporate more slowly allowing the root system to soak up all it needs. Mulch also can stop any unwanted growth from occurring around the trunk. Mulch can also help control the temperature of the roots during extreme weather events. Mulch can sometimes be used in excess and can cause a severe nitrogen deficiency. A tree may experience stunted growth because of the unbalanced soil. Excess mulch can also deprive roots of oxygen causing them to suffer and in some cases even die. Mulch should only be covering a few feet around the base of the tree, no more than a few inches deep. Mulch should also never crown the tree or cover up any of the above-ground roots at the base of the tree.

Letting New Trees Grow & Avoid Pruning

After planting a younger tree the main goal is to keep the tree healthy while it is growing new limbs and establishing roots. A young tree likely won’t need any pruning since the growth should be relatively uniform and predictable. When planting a new tree into the soil of your yard avoid pruning for a while; a tree that has recently been planted will likely be stressed already. 

Underground Utility Lines

Depending on the species of tree some roots will be much more expensive than one would assume from above ground. A growing tree can have massive networks of roots going in all directions underground, sometimes even further out than the tree limbs. If you’re not sure about utility lines underground it is a good idea to speak with your service providers to learn about what parts of your yard won’t be great for planting a tree. A typical household yard may have sewer, gas, water, and electric lines underground. If a tree is planted too close to these lines the roots could potentially cause issues with the lines. A professional arborist will be certain there are no marked lines in the area they want to plant the tree before beginning.

Fertilizer Tips

A newly planted, young won’t require fertilization. In the first year after being planted a tree will mainly grow roots under the soil, and if the soil quality is good it shouldn’t lack the nourishments it needs. If a tree has broken or damaged roots from being transplanted the fertilizer could even cause issues for the tree that is trying to grow its roots into the soil.

Watering Your Newly Planted Tree

When a tree is newly planted into the ground it needs water in excess compared to a tree that has been planted for a long time. This is in part because the roots haven’t haven’t had a chance to settle into the soil and spread their reach. Initially a newly planted tree should be watered daily for a couple of weeks. After the first two weeks switch to just a few times a week. Once the roots have time to become fully established you can begin to water the tree weekly. A tree that was just planted usually requires a special watering regime for around 3-4 months. If you’re having a new tree planted in your yard and need a professional arborist company to handle maintenance and care contact Joseph Tree to learn about our maintenance programs.

Staking Your Tree for Structural Support

Generally speaking a tree doesn’t need to be supported with stakes unless it’s in very windy areas or is a bare root tree without developed roots. In cases where staking isn’t necessary the tree may even grow more sturdy trunks and stronger root systems without additional support. If necessary one can add multiple stakes and attach the tree to them via ropes to stop the tree from any unnecessary stress from the wind. Supports typically are removed after around 12 months once the tree is more structurally sound and the roots can easily hold it up.

Professional Arborists

Trees can be a large investment, but with proper care and attention they can provide great benefits for decades. By hiring a professional arborist team you will get our years of expertise taking care of countless trees across Central Ohio. From tree planting, tree maintenance, and tree removal, we are experts at all things tree care. Have your soil tested to learn whether your future tree will have a nourished root system. Reach out to our staff to learn more.

Tree Planting and Tree Maintenance Services

The professional arborists at Joseph Tree provide excellent tree care and tree maintenance service. We are able to test the soil, diagnose disease and illness, help keep your trees healthy, fertilize, prune, and provide general maintenance throughout the year.

Helping New Trees Grow

Trees should be receiving proper care as soon as they have been planted in the soil. A young tree that has been properly maintained will grow a strong root system, a durable trunk, and a beautiful canopy to help it thrive for many decades to come.

Tree Planting Estimates

We provide estimates for clients looking to hire out any of our services and can walk you through our process to help you better understand the procedure. Contact our Jospeh Tree offices to speak with someone about having trees planted in your yard, and learn more about our maintenance program.