Tree Planting

March 17 , 2005

Tree Planting
Trees in your backyard or around your property can be home to many different types of wildlife. Trees can also reduce your heating and cooling costs, help clean the air, add beauty and color, provide shelter from the wind and the sun and add value to your home and property.

Choosing a tree
Choosing a tree should be a well thought-out decision. Tree planting can be a significant investment in money and time. Proper selection can provide you with years of enjoyment as well as significantly increase the value of your property. Some questions to consider in selecting a tree include:

What purpose will this tree serve? Trees can serve numerous landscape functions including beautification, screening of sight and sounds, shade and energy conservation, and wildlife habitat.
  1. Is the species appropriate for your area: Select trees native to your area. They will be more tolerant of local weather and soil conditions, enhance natural biodiversity in you neighborhood, and are more beneficial to wildlife than many non-native trees. Avoid exotic trees that can invade other areas, crowd native plants, and harm natural ecosystems.
  2. Is the species appropriate for your area: Select trees native to your area. They will be more tolerant of local weather and soil conditions, enhance natural biodiversity in you neighborhood, and are more beneficial to wildlife than many non-native trees. Avoid exotic trees that can invade other areas, crowd native plants, and harm natural ecosystems.
  3. How big will it get? When planting a small tree, it is often difficult to imagine that in 20 years it could be shading your entire yard. Unfortunately, many trees are planted and later removed when the tree grows beyond the dimensions of the property.
  4. How common is this species in your neighborhood? Some species are over planted. Increasing the natural diversity will provide habitat for wildlife and help limit the opportunity for a single pest to destroy all plantings.
  5. Is the tree evergreen or deciduous? Evergreen trees will provide cover and shade year round. They may also be more effective as a barrier for wind and noise. Deciduous trees will give you summer shade but allow the winter sun to shine in. This may be a consideration for where to place the tree in your yard.

Placement of trees
Before planting your tree, consider the treeís ultimate size. When the tree nears maturity, will it be too near your house or other structures? Be considerate of your neighbors. An evergreen tree planted on your north side may block the winter sun form your next-door neighbor. Will it provide too much shade for your vegetable and flower gardens? Most vegetables and many flowers require considerable amounts of sun. If you intend to grow these plants, consider how the placement of trees will affect these gardens. Will it obstruct driveways or side walks? Will it cause problems for buried or overhead utilities?

Planting a tree
A properly planted and maintained tree will grow faster and live longer than one that is incorrectly planted. Spring planting is best, this will eliminate unexpected freezing that can damage or kill young trees. Spring planting will also give the tree a chance to establish new roots before winter arrives and the ground freezes. Planting in hot summer weather should be avoided.

Container grown trees are the easiest to plant and successfully establish in any season, including summer. With container grown stock, the plant has been growing in a container for a period of time. When planting container grown plants, little damage is done to the roots as the plant is transferred to the soil. Container grown trees range in size from very small plants in gallon pots to huge boxes.

Maintenance
For the first year or two, especially after a week or so of hot or dry weather, watch your trees closely for signs of moisture stress. If you see leaf wilting or hard, caked soil, water the trees well and slowly enough to allow the water to soak in. This will encourage deep root growth. Keep the area under the trees mulched, but not the trunk.

Contact your local tree care specialists for more information.

A USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service article.

 



Santa Ynez Valley Tree Care
P.O. Box 1147, Santa Ynez, California 93460

(805) 688-5580

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