Last November we purchased five pine trees for my sons wedding, two white pines, two tannenbaum pines and a Colorado blue spruce. We used them as decorations in their wedding. I was a little concerned after we purchased them because it got very cold and started snowing the early part of December. Normally in December we could still plant trees but this year (2009) frost had set in making impossible to any planting.
My main concern was the shock the trees would take, going from twenty degrees to about seventy and then back outside to twenty degrees again. I’m happy to say they all made it through the long winter we had and they look great. My project for today is to finally plant them.
I have planted over 100 trees at our home and here are a few things I have learned along the way.
1) Remove any wire mesh that may surround the root ball and also the burlap that may cover it. I know they say you can leave it on, but I have found my trees grow faster when I remove it. I think they can become a little root bound.
2) Don’t plant your tree to deep. There is kind of a knob at the base of the tree and that should remain above the soil. If you don’t the tree probably will not grow or the growth becomes stunted.
3) I usually dig the hole about 4-6 inches bigger than the diameter of the pot it came in and loosen the soil up at the bottom to give the roots somewhere to go. Also score the roots of the tree before planting.
4) I used to add fine black dirt and compost when I planted a tree, but I noticed they never grew much. After a couple of years I could still actually pull them out of their hole, like they were still in their pot. Now I always use original soil and get much better results. Make sure there are no air pockets around the roots after planting.
5) If you plant a large tree you may need to stake them for a year or two. I now plant trees less than six feet and rarely stake them, they seem to catch up to the larger ones anyway.
6) Water everyday for 5-7 days then weekly for a month or so and then as needed. Mulching around the tree will help keep moisture in the soil and will keep the wind from drying it out to soon.