Man planting shrub into ground

With longer days and Spring just weeks away, the time to plant for the 2023 season is upon us

  1. And with that I thought to share a couple basic but extremely important techniques on proper planting of trees and shrubs. Be sure to dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper than the top of the root zone – for trees the root flare needs to be above the soil line pic 1.a, 1.b too deep pic 2.a  and the tree will eventually die. Too high pic 2.b and the tree will not grow anchors properly and feeder roots that exist in top 6-24 inches of the soil won’t get the water and nutrients they need to thrive. For shrubs and perennials, leaving the top of the roots just slightly above the soil line will allow for a light covering of mulch without burying the plant for certain death.
Side diagram of proper planting of a tree.
pic 1.a
Side diagram of proper planting of a bush or shrub.
pic 1.b
  2. Showing how roots get damaged when roots are too long.

    pic 3.a

    Teasing the roots- with all container plants it is important to make sure that the plants roots are not growing in a circle which will lead to death.  breaking the roots away so they spread outwardly pic 3.a will encourage the roots to spread out and down.

  3. Wire baskets have always been a discussion point when it comes to planting trees and the verdict… remove the top? -all of it? – none of it?  well sometimes leaving part of the basket is considered acceptable by the ISA International society of Arborists if the root ball is soft or the soil is sandy leaving it will keep the root ball intact which is important in maintain the roots stay in contact with soil, however whenever possible removing it completely is preferred

And don’t forget to remove any twine around the trunk.

Last but not least a light covering of mulch and always, always, always water right after planting even if rain is in the forecast. Making sure the entire root zone as well as the surrounding soil is wet will the hydration necessary for the plants roots to start a new life in your garden.

At Native Designs Landscaping we ensure that all of team is trained in the proper techniques using educational materials from Penn State University as well as adhering to ISA standards.

If your interested in copies of these resources drop us a line for additional information and links to these types of materials.