Planting and Caring for your Native Tree
Improper planting and a lack of watering and post-planting maintenance are the primary reasons why newly planted trees perish. Pay attention to the following tips (especially watering during the first few weeks!) and your native tree should provide enjoyment for years to come.
1. Placement: Choose a planting spot that is mostly sunny and large enough for the mature tree. It should be free of overhead wires and branches from other trees and away from septic systems.
2. Planting: Dig a hole to the depth of the root ball. Do not add any soil amendments or fertilizer. While near the hole carefully remove the tree from the pot. Examine the roots, and, if they are wrapped around the root ball, loosen some of the exterior ones. Plant with the top of the root ball level with the surrounding soil. Use the extra soil to make a saucer to help hold water.
3. Mulch: Add 2-3” of organic mulch from the outer edge of the saucer to the edge of the root ball. Do not allow mulch to remain against the trunk as this can cause the bark to rot.
4. Watering: Water into the saucer every day for two weeks, then every other day for two weeks. Thereafter, water twice per week if there is no substantial rainfall. After one year the tree should be well established and require no supplemental watering unless there is a serious drought.
5. Enjoy: Affectionately check the tree once in a while to make sure it is OK and take any needed action e.g. protection, watering, etc. This kind attention will reward you with many years of shade, beauty, and wildlife viewing.