How deep to plant a tree
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Advice Landscape and Lawn How to Plant a Tree or Shrub
When you plant a tree, you celebrate the earth by increasing its leafy canopy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people." Trees also add beauty, increase the value of your home, provide cooling shade and offer shelter for wildlife. Proper planting is critical to their survival and long-term success.
Digging the Hole
Planting too deep is the top reason that trees and shrubs die. Follow these simple steps to ensure the correct planting depth for both balled-and-burlapped (B&B) and potted trees.
- Locate the point at which the trunk flares out to join the roots. On B&B trees, remove the twine and burlap at the base of the trunk. If necessary, gently push the soil away from the base of the trunk to find the flare.
- Measure the distance from the bottom of the root mass to the trunk flare. Dig the hole no deeper than this; you want the root mass to sit on undisturbed soil. When planting is complete, the trunk flare should be slightly above the existing soil grade.
- Dig the hole two to three times the diameter of the root ball or container, sloping the sides gently outward to the existing soil grade.
The thinking on backfill has changed in recent years. Although it was once common to modify the backfill soil with amendments — such as compost, peat moss, aged manure and other ingredients — it is now considered best practice to leave the backfill unaltered or add minimal amendments. This encourages roots to spread out into the native soil, rather than staying within the confines of the planting hole.
We do recommend adding mycorrhizal fungi to the backfill. Mycorrhizal fungi form associations with plant roots and help them extract and absorb minerals and water from the soil. Trees and shrubs with mycorrhizal-enhanced root systems adapt better and are more tolerant of stressful environments. Bone meal provides essential minerals that promote sturdy root systems and stimulate plant growth.
When moving your plant into the planting hole, disturb the rootball as little as possible. Lift B&B trees and shrubs by using the rope, burlap or wire cage on the rootball. Lift potted plants by grasping the container. Don't lift plants by the trunk, stems or branches. Don't allow the root system to dry out before or during planting.
B&B trees and shrubs
- Place the tree in the center of the hole. If necessary, straighten or stabilize the tree by adjusting or filling beneath the root ball with the backfill mix.
- Cut away any twine or burlap from the base of the trunk and remove any burlap that is on the top of the rootball. Remove excess soil from the top of the rootball to expose the trunk flare, if needed.
- Use bolt cutters to remove as much of the wire basket as possible. Don't try to remove the entire wire basket. The plant will thrive even if there is some of the basket left in the hole. Remove all the rope and twine from the rootball, as well as any nails holding the burlap together. Pull back the burlap and cut away any loose material. It's OK to leave some burlap in the hole to decompose. However, remove all plastic or treated burlap.
Potted trees and shrubs
- Tip the container on its side and slide the plant from the container. Place the plant in the hole by lifting the root mass, not the plant itself. If the plant has become pot-bound, it may be necessary to cut the container before the plant can be removed.
- To encourage root growth, tease the outer roots from the soil. If the roots are tightly matted, use a knife to score the root mass in several places and gently loosen the root ball. This won't harm the plant and will encourage new root growth.
Backfilling and watering the planting hole
- Add backfill soil to your planting hole until it comes about halfway up the root ball. Use your foot or hands to firm the soil and eliminate air pockets. Make sure the trunk is vertical and confirm that the trunk flare will sit slight above soil grade once backfilling is complete. Continue adding backfill and packing it down until you've reached the top of the root ball, taking care not to cover the trunk flare.
- Construct a 3" - 4" high ridge of soil around the outer edge of the planting hole. This berm will create a basin to hold irrigation water and concentrate it over the roots. Use a hose to fill the basin, then allow the water to soak it, repeating several times. Or, let the water run at a trickle for 15 to 30 minutes to ensure that the entire root zone is moist. The goal is to ensure even watering so the soil is drenched and any large air pockets are eliminated.
- Recheck that the trunk flare is completely exposed and the top of the root ball has not been covered with additional soil. Remove any plant tags or labels from the tree.
Apply bark mulch or pine straw to a depth of 2" - 3" over the entire planting hole. Mulching helps conserve water and prevent weeds. Taper the mulch toward the base of the tree, but do not allow it to touch the tree trunk.
Staking at planting time is not always necessary. Consider the stability of the rootball, trunk size and strength, direction of prevailing winds, canopy size and density when determining whether or not to stake. If in doubt, ask a nursery professional.
We do not recommend fertilizing newly planted trees and shrubs during their first year of growth.
Proper moisture is critical to the survival of your young tree or shrub. The roots should never dry out completely, nor should they be waterlogged. The best way to check soil moisture? Use your finger. Dig down 2" to 4" just outside the root mass of the plant and water if the soil feels dry. Newly planted shrubs and trees should be checked and watered every other day for the first two weeks. After the first two weeks, limit watering to once a week if less than 1" of rain falls during the week. Thorough soakings that moisten the soil to the entire depth of the root mass are better than frequent light waterings.
A newly-planted, tree-form hydrangea with Snip-n-Drip soaker hose for watering.
Use the chart below as a guideline for the amount of water needed by newly planted trees and shrubs based upon plant size. Plant species have varying water requirements. Before watering according to the chart, use your finger to check actual soil moisture and get familiar with the moisture requirements of your plants.
|Small shrub||4-5 gal.|
|Large shrub||7-10 gal.|
|Small trees (<2" caliper)||7-10 gal.|
|Large trees (>2" caliper)||1020 gallons|
Water measurements can be made using an old 1-gallon plastic milk container. When using a hose, turn on the water at a slow trickle and take note of the setting. Count the amount of time it takes to fill the 1-gallon container. Multiply that amount of time by the number of gallons you need for your plant. That total provides the amount of time you need to run the hose, based on the chart.
Last updated: 07/06/2021
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How Deep Should You Plant a Tree? • Rayzor's Edge Tree Service
When you plant a tree, you want to ensure that it won’t lean or fall over so you should plant it deeply, right? Wrong! It may surprise you to learn that planting too deeply is one of the primary causes of premature tree death. Instead, trees should be planted so that the root flare at the base of the tree is above ground. Keep reading to find out why and how to properly plant a new tree at the right depth.
Why is the Root Flare Important When Planting a Tree?
The root flare, or trunk flare, was buried when this tree was planted, leading to issues as the tree grew.
Root flare, also called trunk flare, is extremely important to a tree’s health. The root flare is found at the base of the trunk where the tree’s trunk ends and the root system begins.
Often roots develop about 12 inches below the soil line, which is just below the tree flare. Root flare depth is important. Trunk tissue surrounding the root flare, the phloem, can rot if it receives too much moisture. Phloem is an important part of a tree because it helps in the manufacture of energy for foliage production. Burying the root flare or piling it high with mulch when planting a tree can encourage the rot of the phloem.
>> Read more about how you can prevent expensive tree problems here.
What happens if you plant a tree too deeply?
When a tree is planted too deeply, it’s likely to develop fungal or bacterial diseases, succumb to insect pests, and eventually die. Common problems seen in trees planted too deeply include:
- Rotting – Trees planted too deeply can suffer extensive rot at the base of the trunk.
- Foliage problems – Deep planting causes dwarfed leaf size, defoliation, and leaf yellowing.
- Reduced growth and dieback – Trees planted too deeply often have branch dieback, splitting bark, and overall reduced growth rate.
- Frequent pest infestations and destructive diseases – Pests such as emerald ash borers are more likely to attack a tree when it is weak, as are any number of bacterial and fungal diseases.
If you see any of these signs or symptoms of tree distress, take a look at the base of the tree. If you can’t see the trunk flare, the problems are probably due to deep planting.
Symptoms of tree decline might not show immediately, but can be building for years after burying a tree’s root collar. Without fixing the underlying problem, the tree will continue to decline and will eventually die.
This tree was planted without removing it from the burlap beforehand. Always remove a tree from the container or burlap before planting it in the ground.
How to Find the Root Flare on a Sapling
Carefully examine the root ball before digging a hole for planting. You’re looking for the spot where the trunk widens out into the root structure. This widening area, or root flare, will develop into strong buttress roots to help support the tree. But to do that, it must be above (or just at) the level of the surrounding soil.
Unfortunately, most new trees are buried too deep in their container or burlapped rootball. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your tree should be planted at the same depth as you found it in the container or burlap!
If the tree is in a container, carefully pull the container off. If balled-and-burlapped, pull back the top coverings. Then start gently brushing soil away from around the tree trunk until you find the root flare. It could be as much as 6 inches down.
The trunk flare (or root flare) is visible on this newly planted tree. The mulch is not piled up like a volcano, nor is the mulch touching the tree trunk.
How Deep to Plant the Root Ball
Once you find the root flare, you’ll know how deep to plant the root ball. That’s when you can start digging the planting hole.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG (CBYD). Prior to doing any digging, even if only with a shovel, be certain that there are no wires or pipes underground that you might hit. CBYD is a free service that provides this information. Call them at 811. This is a critical first step in tree planting.
Dig a planting hole only deep enough to ensure that the root flare will stay exposed just above the soil line. Remember that the tree will settle in and lower a bit after planting, so higher is better.
>> See our complete tree planting tips
If soil is poorly drained, which is often the case with clay soils, it’s best to plant the root ball a bit higher to encourage drainage.
While planting too deep is a concern, planting overly high is also a problem. If the root system is barely buried, the tree is very likely to topple over. Plus, it won’t be able to absorb the moisture and nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil.
Still, if in doubt about the correct planting depth, it’s better to plant too high than too deep.
This conifer tree was planted too deeply.
Avoid Mulch Volcanoes!
After planting, we recommend spreading a layer of mulch around the tree to protect it, prevent weed growth, conserve moisture, and more. However, using mulch isn’t a case of “if some is good, more is better.”
While proper mulching is very beneficial for a tree, piling mulch high around the root flare is extremely damaging. Do not use so much mulch that the tree looks as if it has a “mulch volcano” at the base of the trunk!
A mulch volcano creates the same tree problems as burying the root flare with soil. Plus, it creates a moist environment that’s perfect for fungus and other pathogens to flourish and attack the tree. We often see tree trunks completely rotted out under the mulch.
Mulch piled around tree trunks also:
- attracts rodents and other bark-chewing pests that girdle and kill the tree,
- can “bake” (and kill) tender tree bark as it heats up and decomposes, and
- can compact to the point that water cannot penetrate it to reach the tree roots below.
Mulch should absolutely not touch the tree trunk; mulch volcanoes are a death sentence for trees.
PRO TIP:A general anti-volcano rule of thumb for newly-planted trees is the 3x3x3 rule: mulch 3 inches high, 3 inches from the trunk, with a 3-foot-wide circle around the tree.
A Rayzor’s Edge employee evaluates a tree, checking for decay before the roots are exposed using an air spade.
What To Do If The Tree Was Planted Too Deep
If you have a tree that is clearly planted too deep, call the arborists at Rayzor’s Edge to evaluate the tree. Depending on where the tree is located and its overall health, we may be able to save it with a process called air spading.
Air spading a tree is done to uncover the root flare collar and top root structure. The process is simple; instead of digging (which could damage tree roots), an air spade blasts the soil away with high-pressure air. It’s a messy procedure but much safer for the tree. And don’t worry, we put up barriers to protect nearby objects from flying dirt!
With the trunk flare and roots exposed, we can examine the flare for decay and correct any root problems. If the base of the tree is structurally sound, we’ll then backfill the excavated area with soil to the proper depth.
Unfortunately, when we discover decay or serious root problems, tree removal may be your only option. If the tree’s root flare has been buried for too long, it may not be possible to save the tree.
After Rayzor’s Edge used an air spade to expose the root zone, you can see how the roots of this conifer tree were tangled and growing at the surface.
Not Sure How Deep to Plant Your Tree?
Feeling confused or need help to better determine planting depth? Why not plant it the right way from the beginning! Contact Rayzor’s Edge and our team will come out to help you install the tree correctly. Our certified arborists and experienced teams can help your trees stay healthy and well-adjusted as they mature.
How to plant a tree: 5 typical mistakes when planting trees - when to plant, at what depth and not only
They seem unpretentious and the processes in them are really slower. But that is precisely why it is easy to miss the moment when something went wrong with the tree. And in the end, instead of a mighty green giant, get only a dried snag.
In case you missed it, an article in the Troubleshooting series: What went wrong in the flowerbed
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Where are these hidden areas of vulnerability and how can you tell if a tree needs your help? As in the case of a flower garden, all factors that affect the viability and health of a tree can be divided into several groups.
Architectural Plants Ltd
1. Poor planting material
The quality of the seedlings directly affects whether your tree will take root and whether it will grow. Therefore, it is best to purchase seedlings in nurseries that specialize in growing trees. As a rule, such nurseries can offer planting material of different ages and sizes, independently carry out vaccinations, transplantation and preparation for it.
Nurseries are also preferable because the seedlings grown here will be zoned and will survive transplantation, the next and subsequent winters with a greater guarantee. Also, buying in a nursery gives you great confidence that you are purchasing exactly the declared species and variety. When buying "by hand" at garden fairs or from unverified online sellers, there is a high chance of acquiring an "unknown little animal."
- Autumn garden: Criteria for choosing planting material
- How to: Order plants from European nurseries
The root system is damaged. The condition of the tree's roots is decisive for survival. Depending on how the seedlings are sold, the root system may be open or closed.
- The open root system allows you to assess the condition of the plant's roots when buying. The problem is that such plants need to be planted as soon as possible after they have been dug up. From prolonged contact with air, the root system dries up and most often dies. Drying roots turn dark yellow or brown, while healthy roots should be white or slightly yellowish. However, it can be difficult to identify the initial stages of root damage when exposed to air. Therefore, it makes sense to buy seedlings with an open root system only in a nursery and only if you are sure that the plant was dug out a few hours ago.
Fact: To protect the open root system, it is often dipped into a clay "talker" - clay diluted with water to the state of liquid sour cream with or without manure. And sometimes it is even advised to plant trees with roots covered with this mixture. However, it must be understood that the clay, protecting the roots from the evaporation of moisture, at the same time prevents its absorption. In addition, "cemented" roots are easily damaged mechanically. Therefore, this method should be used only if seedlings with an open root system need to be transported over a long distance or stored for a long time. And before planting a tree, the roots must be immersed in water for at least an hour so that the clay is washed off and they are saturated with moisture. You can add a root stimulant to the water.
Classic Nursery photos
- The closed root system is more suitable for transporting and storing plants. Therefore, nurseries most often sell seedlings with a clod of earth or in a container. In the first case, the plant is carefully dug up along with the soil in which it grew, and the roots that go beyond the coma are cut off. This is not scary: if the size of the coma is sufficient, after transplantation, small suction roots will quickly grow.
Buying seedlings in a container allows maximum protection of the root system during transportation and transplanting. In this case, the plant is immediately grown in its own container, its root system develops evenly and tightly wraps around the earthen clod. Growing containers are not necessarily hard plastic, often seedlings are grown in special textile bags: they allow you to place even large-sized plants.
Fact: Unscrupulous sellers sometimes disguise dug up seedlings by placing them in pots. It is not difficult to determine this - in such cases, sprinkled earth is usually noticeable.
Seedlings too "adult" . Transplantation is most easily tolerated by young one-three year old plants. The older they are, the more carefully you need to prepare them for transplantation. By the way, the marking of a seedling usually does not include the number of years, but the girth of the trunk at a height of one meter. This allows you to more accurately assess the condition of the plant.
Important: Many trees, such as spruces and oaks, are very difficult to transplant in adulthood. Therefore, they especially need proper preparation for digging.
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Seedlings are unhealthy. When buying a plant, do not forget to inspect its above-ground parts. Pay attention to how the seedling is formed - by grafting or cuttings. Complex ornamental forms of trees are usually grafted. In this case, it is necessary to evaluate the quality of the rootstock - the basis on which the plant is grafted: it is on it that the resistance of the plant to adverse conditions depends. The grafting site should be well fused, the bark - without damage, the branches are elastic and cool to the touch.
Fact: Requirements for the quality of seedlings of fruit crops are determined by GOST 53135-2008 "Planting material for fruit, berry, subtropical, nut-bearing, citrus crops and tea".
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2. Incorrect preparation for planting
The fax damaged . The biggest risk of damage to the root system occurs during digging (if the plant is from open ground), transportation and storage of seedlings. Roots should remain hydrated whether they are open or in an earthen clod/container. If after buying a tree it is not possible to plant it immediately, you need to carefully monitor the soil moisture. Especially if you have to postpone planting until spring. If you need to store a seedling for a long time, it is better to place it in an unheated, but frost-free basement or dig it in the garden.
Important: Seedlings with an open root system are not suitable for long-term storage.
Earth ball from a pot in which a plant with a closed root system was grown, before planting, it is advisable to slightly loosen the outside in order to free and lift the pressed roots.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
The planting hole is not suitable for the plant. It may be too small or have the wrong primer. Experienced gardeners, when it's time to plant trees, dig a hole in advance so that the earth has time to settle, and the organic fertilizers laid down can be overturned and form a nutrient substrate. If you dig a hole just before planting and put manure, lime or inorganic fertilizer there, be sure to fill it with earth from above. Make sure that the roots of the seedling do not touch the top dressing - otherwise they will get burned.
The planting hole should be 1.5 to 2 times the size of the root ball. When digging, the upper, usually the most fertile layer of soil is best set aside separately, and then poured directly under the roots.
Advice: If the soil in which the seedling is grown is significantly different from the soil on the plot, plant a mixed soil of intermediate composition around the root ball when planting.
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3. Errors in planting technique
Soil too dense / with air pockets. Properly planting a tree on the site is a simple task, but it requires attention. When planting a seedling, it is placed in the center of the dug hole, filled up and evenly compacted around the ground. It is important that, on the one hand, the soil is not compacted too tightly, and on the other hand, there are no air gaps left. Seedlings with an open root system will require special attention.
Tip: Make sure that the trunk of the seedling is vertical when planting, otherwise it will have to be corrected later.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
Wrong planting depth. When calculating how deep to plant trees, remember that the root neck of the plant must be above the soil level. Do not confuse: the root neck is not the place of grafting, this is the place where the root passes into the trunk. The tissues of the root neck are fundamentally different from other parts of the tree: if you cut the bark, you can see that even the color of the internal tissues in this place changes. However, the bark in this zone does not have a significant difference in color, and when planting a tree, we, of course, will not open it.
The root neck is the place where the most active metabolic processes of the plant take place, sometimes it is even called the "brain" of the tree. This part must be well supplied with oxygen and ventilated. Without any particular problems, only a few plants will survive its deepening - mainly those that easily give root shoots: for example, mountain ash, plum, lilac, currant. The least dangerous is the deepening of the root neck on loose permeable sandy and sandy loamy soils that do not prevent air penetration and support drainage.
Austin Design Group
In the photo: an example of a solution for the case when it is necessary to significantly raise the level of the site with existing trees. The root collar remains on the surface of the soil, although this surface is lower than the rest of the plot
Important: When positioning the root collar, the biggest mistake is not to take into account soil settlement. As a result, a seemingly normally planted tree turns out to be buried in a few days. Therefore, initially it is worth placing a seedling with a slight rise - by 4–9see
For the first year, a newly planted tree should be tied to supports, protecting the tying point with burlap or rubber. An example is in the photo above.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
Incorrect watering. After planting trees, the soil should be well watered. However, consider the weather conditions: you should not plant plants in the mud.
Wrong seating time in . Suitable times for planting trees are early spring after the soil has thawed, but before the start of the growing season, and late autumn. At the same time, in the northern and northwestern regions, plants planted in autumn may not have time to take root and die in winter. Therefore, when deciding when it is best to plant trees, proceed from the climate of your region. For seedlings planted in late spring or early summer, overdrying is the greatest danger. Remember to water them regularly and protect them from the sun.
4. Condition mismatch
Climate. Despite the general hardiness of trees, even they will not be able to grow in unsuitable conditions. Therefore, first of all, make sure that you buy a zoned species and variety (suitable for growing in your area). Moreover, it is not so much the frost resistance of the plant that is important, but its compliance with the full range of natural conditions of the region: early snowless winters or high humidity, sudden temperature changes or overly active sun.
Tip: If the temptation to plant an "exotic" in your garden is too great, consider whether you can carefully care for a plant that is not quite suitable for the climate. And be prepared for the fact that it can still die.
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High groundwater level causes the death of many trees unadapted to such conditions. Fruit species are especially affected. What to do?
- Create a drainage system.
- Drain the soil with other plants (birch, spruce, alder will help).
- Plant trees on raised beds (pictured).
Tip: When creating artificial mounds, keep in mind that you will limit the spread of the root system to the size of the mound.
Unsuitable soil. Depending on the species, trees need different soil acidity. In the wrong conditions, they can die. So, pear, hawthorn, maple and elm prefer neutral soil with a shift towards alkaline. And chestnut, birch and oak tolerate a more acidic reaction.
Too little light. Most trees prefer well-lit areas - keep this in mind when choosing a planting site. Light is especially important for fruit species and varieties with colored foliage.
KL Designs Residential Landscape Planning LLC
Too crowded. When planted in heaps, trees can compete with each other for food and moisture. Therefore, when planning a garden, do not forget to consider planting distances.
But plants can be crowded for another reason - if there is simply not enough space for the development of the root system. For example, if a tree grows in the middle of asphalt or on rocky soil, next to a foundation or just in a flowerpot. In this case, having reached a certain size, the plant will begin to be oppressed - its root system will not be able to develop further.
Tip: Do not forget that the aboveground and underground parts of plants are closely related, and the proportions of the root system approximately correspond to the projection of the crown and even exceed it. Therefore, in places where there is a risk of tightness, including on raised beds and in containers, it is necessary to plant initially compact forms, the roots of which will have enough provided volume.
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Little Miracles Designs
Terms have changed. Work on the site that does not take into account the root system of trees (in mature trees it extends over long distances) can lead to damage to it. Building a house, re-planning a site (and not only yours, but also adjacent ones) can change drainage conditions and redistribute water horizons so much that trees begin to suffer. The worst thing is that in this case it is very difficult to understand what happened. For example, I came across a situation where, due to the “harmless” laying of paths in an existing array, one of its parts became swamped, and a significant part of the trees died.
Good question: How to save trees on the site when building a house
5. Improper care
Careful care of planted trees is especially important in the first year after planting. It includes regular watering, top dressing, protection from frost and sun. For mature trees, these measures are necessary depending on the species and variety.
Active sun in early spring can cause significant damage to conifers, so they need to be shaded. For Canadian spruce, this is a necessary procedure that protects against drying out during active evaporation and the earth that has not yet thawed, for junipers and arborvitae, it is desirable.
Deciduous trees also need sun protection, at least when young. Whitewashing the trunks allows you to level the temperature contrasts of cold air and the sun, which strongly heats the surface.
Exterior Worlds Landscaping & Design
Loosening the soil in the trunk circle increases its permeability and retains moisture. However, for trees with a very shallow root system, such as spruce, it is contraindicated. In this case, mulching will help retain moisture. The layer of mulch in the trunk circle does not need to be brought close to the trunk - leave 3–5 cm.
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Tree weakening. In the first year after planting, a young fruit tree has little strength. So that the plant does not spend them on fruiting, flowers are removed (if they appear). Pruning deciduous trees after planting will make it easier for the root system to grow back. The exceptions are birches, maples and other species with intense sap flow. They will suffer from such pruning at a young age. In the future, it is desirable to carry out sanitary and formative pruning regularly - at least once a year. This reduces the risk of diseases, breakage of branches and provides the tree with a beautiful and healthy shape.
Fact: Pruning a plant too hard can cause irreparable damage. The exception is easily restored trees and shrubs, for example, willow, hawthorn, vesicle and others.
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Diseases and Parasites. Care of planted trees includes preventive spraying - an important measure that may one day save your garden. It is much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it later with an unguaranteed result. For the winter in the first year of planting, even completely zoned trees should be insulated by wrapping them with burlap or straw, paying special attention to the grafting site and the root neck - they are damaged most easily.
Winter protection. In winter, trees suffer not only from frost. Branches often break under the weight of adhering snow, crust and rodents damage the bark. Thin branches of weeping forms that sink low to the ground also suffer from the crust. If possible, these threats should be addressed proactively.
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Animals. Trees can suffer not only from alien rodents, but also from pets: for example, if they arrange a toilet in the roots or regularly dig tunnels. Spruces and other plants with shallow root systems are especially affected.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting
How to tell if something is wrong with a tree
Many problems start out with little or no symptoms. Therefore, carefully monitor the condition of the tree.
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1 . Feel the bark of the plant, especially after wintering. Cover frost cracks and mechanical damage with garden pitch, having previously removed damaged tissues to healthy wood and disinfected. Large cracks and cavities not only pose a threat of infection, but also increase the risk of a windbreak (from which not only the tree itself, but also surrounding buildings, wires, and even people can suffer). With an annular and close to it lesion of the bark, the nutrition of the tree is disturbed. Usually the culprits of such damage are rodents. You can try to save the plant by grafting it below and above the damage: this will create an alternative path for the tree sap. True, such an event is not for beginners.
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2. Look at the tips of the branches. Their drying out is the first sign of a violation of the conductivity of the bark or damage to the root system. If the tips dry en masse, look for the cause of the violation of the tree's vital functions - from mechanical damage to diseases and pests.
3. Inspect the barrel. Gum disease, to which many stone fruits, such as plums, are prone, is also a sign of problems in the tree. Intensively secreting altered cells and plastic substances, it tries to protect itself from something. In addition to mechanical damage, fungal diseases, oversaturation with moisture, and a violation of plant biochemistry can be the cause. Gum treatment causes further destruction of the tissues of the tree, so the problems found must be eliminated and the damage healed.
Gardening is never rushed. Only careful and sensitive observation of the condition of the trees will allow you to notice the problem in time and give you a chance to save the plant.
What problems do you most often face in the garden? How do you solve them? What stage do you consider the most risky for trees?
Rules for planting fruit trees and shrubs
It is possible to plant fruit and berry plants with an open root system (ACS) in the spring from the moment the soil thaws until the buds swell (this is only 10-15 days), in the fall from the beginning of mass leaf fall until the onset of frost. Apple trees, pears and stone fruits are planted in the spring as early as possible, seedlings of fruit bushes are planted, even when the buds have already blossomed a little. Saplings of fruit trees and shrubs in containers are planted throughout the season, from mid-April to mid-November. Summer planting of leafy seedlings from containers is best done in cloudy, rainy weather.
For laying an orchard, it is preferable to choose large, well-developed 1-2 year old seedlings that will quickly grow and in a few years will be able to begin to bear fruit. Under fruit and berry crops, it is customary to make pits round, choosing a diameter and depth depending on the type of fruit crops, soil type and groundwater occurrence.
On light loams with deep groundwater (about 2 m), pits for apple and pear trees on a vigorous rootstock are dug with a diameter of at least 1 m and a depth of 60 cm. For trees on a semi-dwarf rootstock, the diameter of the pit is 1 m and a depth of 40 cm. 90 cm, depth 40 cm. Cherry, plum, sea buckthorn, chokeberry, irga are planted in pits with a diameter of 80 cm and a depth of 40 cm. Planting pits for raspberries, blackberries with a diameter of 50 cm, a depth of 30 cm. a pit 50-60 cm deep and wide.
On heavy clay soil, the pits are made wider, but smaller, because due to the poor permeability of the clay, the water will stagnate and the roots will begin to rot. On dense, heavy soils, it is necessary to loosen the bottom and side walls of the pit with a fork or shovel, otherwise the roots of the planted plants, reaching the compacted layer, will loop and remain in the limited volume of the planting pit. If the soils on the site are heavy and the groundwater level is at a depth of less than 1.5 m, drainage should be constructed. Alternatively, in such places it is possible to plant trees and large shrubs on ridges and artificial elevations.
When digging a hole, the upper, humus layer of soil is set aside, and the lower soil is removed. The pit is filled with a fertile substrate, which is prepared by mixing the top layer with soddy and leafy soil, peat, humus and sand in different proportions, depending on the crop being planted. Organic and mineral fertilizers are added to the bottom of the pit, but in such a way that the roots of the seedlings do not come into direct contact with them. When planting, one should not abuse the application of mineral fertilizers, with a single application of large doses of mineral fertilizers, the roots of the seedling are unable to effectively supply the plant with moisture. A stake is set in the center of the pit, to which a tree will then be tied. The tree is installed on the north or northeast side of the stake (it will protect the tree from overheating by the sun's rays). You need to tie the tree up with a figure eight so that it does not hang on the stake after the soil has settled.
The general rule for planting all fruit seedlings: before planting, the container with the seedling must be immersed in a container with water for 1-2 hours , so that the earth ball is saturated with water. Planting depth is also important. The root neck of the seedling should not be buried. In this case, the trees suffer more from frost, burns, cancer and leaf spot. Many gardeners confuse the root collar with the grafting site. To correctly locate the root neck, wipe with a damp cloth part of the trunk (stem) and the beginning of the main (skeletal) roots. You will notice that in one place the bark on the tree changes color: from greenish it becomes light brown, this place is the border of the root collar. When planting, the root neck is placed 3-6 cm above the soil level; after the earth has set, it will be at the level of the soil surface.
When planting, the soil around the seedlings is compacted, and earthen rollers 10-15 cm high are arranged on top along the contour of the planting pit, and, regardless of the weather, they are watered abundantly (2-3 buckets of water for each plant). After watering, the hole is mulched with a layer of peat, compost or old foliage. This will not allow moisture to evaporate quickly and a crust does not form on the surface of the soil.
After planting (after 7-10 days), they are watered with a root formation stimulator and foliar top dressing is carried out. Good results are given by epin (7-10 drops per glass of water) and zircon (1 ml per 10 liters of water).
Below we consider the planting of the main fruit crops in more detail.
The vine needs to be given the warmest place in the garden, it can be a wall of a house, a garage, or an outbuilding. Do not allow rainwater to run off the roof onto the vines.
The distance between plants is 1 m. When planting several bushes, they dig a trench. Root collar at ground level. The optimal acidity of the soil is pH 6.5-7.5. Soil - rotted manure (or peat compost), 150 g of superphosphate and 800 g of wood ash. Mix the fertilizer well with the rest of the nutrient mixture. Be sure to install supports and drainage.
Drainage: put river pebbles, gravel or broken bricks at the bottom of the pit. In June, grapes are fed with a solution of mineral fertilizers: for 1 plant 40 g of urea, 80 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium chloride, 10 liters of water. In July, foliar top dressing of weakened plants can be done with nitrogen fertilizer 40 g of urea or 15 g of ammonium nitrate per 10 liters of water. Organic fertilizers must be embedded in the soil. Water the grapes at least 8 times a season in a bucket per plant. After watering, it is necessary to loosen the soil. It is imperative to cover the grapes for the winter. Cover the root neck with dry leaves and spud 15-25 cm, sprinkled with peat or earth.
Planting cherries and sweet cherries
The distance between plants is 1.5-2 m. The root collar is 3-5 cm above ground level. Soil mixture: leaf or garden soil, sand (3: 1). 10-15 kg of organic fertilizers, 150-300 g phosphorus, 40-80 g potash or 500 g ash. Liming is carried out on acidic soils. Nitrogen fertilizers are applied in spring, phosphorus and potash fertilizers in autumn. Organic fertilizers can be applied in autumn and spring (8-10 kg per 1 sq.m.).
Young plants in the dry season are watered often and plentifully. In autumn, they dig the soil to a depth of 15-20 cm. In the season, they loosen the soil 3-4 times. The best place for cherries is open sunny spaces with good aeration. For cherries, choose the warmest, most elevated and protected areas from cold winds.
The soil when planting blueberries should have a pH of 4.0 to 5.2. It is recommended not to use organic fertilizer, only peat or softwood sawdust can be used. The soil must be with good drainage. Groundwater should not exceed 50-60 cm of depth to the surface of the earth. Otherwise, it is necessary to make a bulk furrow for planting.
On a personal plot, it is necessary to dig a hole with a diameter of 40 cm and fill it with a substrate that contains acid peat and soil in a ratio of 1: 1. Seedlings are planted 5-10 cm deeper than it grew before. If planting occurs in the fall, then top dressing is not performed. In the spring, fertilize with mineral fertilizers that acidify the soil. After fertilizing, it is imperative to shed water. You can use different mineral fertilizers, but in no case overfertilize with nitrogen.
In autumn, it is recommended to make ground bedding (mulch) with sawdust, bark or peat. Flowers during flowering tolerate temperatures of -2°C, if the temperature is lower, then it must be protected by spraying or otherwise. For planting, choose sunny, windless places. During fruiting, each bush requires 8 liters of water per day. To achieve a large berry, it is recommended to cut the branches, leaving the bush with 5-7 branches. Berries are formed on the branches of the previous year.
The distance between plants in groups is 3-4 m. The root neck is 3-4 cm above the soil level. When planting under one tree, 60 kg of rotted manure or humus, 1.5 kg of superphosphate, 0.7 kg of potassium chloride and 3 kg of lime are added. Prefers slightly acidic soils or neutral (pH 6-6.5), well aerated soils.
Fertilizers are applied once every 2-3 years in the spring at the rate of 4-5 kg of peat or manure per 1 sq. m. Phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied in the fall. In dry weather, water after 20 days. Pears are loosened to a depth of 10 cm. They are mulched with rotted manure, peat, compost with a layer of 6-8 cm. In the spring, 2-3 weeks before the start of the growing season, broken, dry and diseased branches are cut out, and the crown is thinned out. Tops are cut out as they appear.
The distance between plants is 1.5-2 m. The root neck should be at ground level, when planted 3-5 cm higher. Soil mixture: soddy land, humus or peat and sand in a ratio of 3:1:1. Optimal soil acidity pH 7.0-8.5. Drainage: A layer of broken brick or gravel 5-7 cm. Early in the spring, feed the plants with mineral fertilizer at the rate of 20-30 g/sq. m, before flowering, 3 liquid top dressings are produced: 10-20 g of nitroammophoska per 10 liters of water.
Foliar top dressing: 0.1% urea, 1% superphosphate, 0.5% potassium chloride. Summer sprinkling alternates with foliar top dressing. In autumn, wood ash (100-200 g / sq.m.) is brought in for digging. The recommended rate of fertilizer application per planting pit for honeysuckle is 5-7 kg of manure, 50-80 g of superphosphate and 40-50 g of potassium salt.
Watered 7-8 times a season, 1.5-2 buckets of water per plant. In the first year, water more and more often, then watering is reduced to a bucket. In hot weather, young plants are watered more often and more abundantly. Loosening is carried out 4-5 times a season when weeding or in case of soil compaction. They loosen a shovel on a bayonet, since the depth of the roots is 40-50 cm, the trunk circle is large 1-1.5 m. Mulch with peat. layer 5-7 cm.
Gooseberries are planted in an ordinary way with an inter-row space of 1.3-1.5 m, and distances of 1 m between plants. Gooseberry care is mainly limited to weeding, which is best done by hand so as not to damage the roots located close to the surface of the earth, watering and top dressing. The nutritional needs of gooseberries are met by creating a new protective layer once a year from compost and other organic fertilizers - bone and blood meal, etc. It also performs a protective function and contributes to the rapid fruiting of plants.
Planting raspberries and blackberries
Planted in a sunny position protected from the wind. Raspberries do not tolerate close groundwater and soil salinity. The distance between the bushes is not less than 0.7 m. The root neck is at ground level. The soil is a mixture of peat and sod land (1: 1). 4-5 kg of humus or compost, 100 g of superphosphate and 50 g of potassium sulfate are added to the planting pit. Optimum soil acidity pH 5.8-6.7 On acidic soils, apply lime at the rate of 200-400 g per 1 sq.m.
Supports are required. Annually (3 times a season) fertilize with urea. 1st - in May, 2nd - two weeks later, 3rd - two weeks after the second (5 mg / l each). After 2-3 years, phosphate fertilizers (superphosphate -30 mg / l), potash fertilizers (potassium sulfate - 15 mg / l) are applied. Organic fertilizers are applied in the fall when digging plants. When planting, water 1 bucket per plant, then as needed. After planting, mulch with peat, humus, foliage, bark, needles or black plastic wrap.
Planting plums and cherry plums
Plum is photophilous. The distance between plants is 4-5 m, for low-growing varieties 2.5-3 m. Keep in mind that plum is a more heat-loving crop compared to cherries. Plum prefers fresh fertile or clay soils, does not tolerate stagnant waterlogging. Soil mixture: sheet earth, humus, sand (3:2:1) with the addition of lime or dolomite flour (200-300 g) per planting hole.
Watering is required when planting and in the next 3-4 days. Relatively well tolerates a short drought. Young plants in the dry season require more frequent watering. Loosening is carried out to a depth of 5 cm in order to destroy weeds. In early spring and late spring - early summer, fertilizing with nitrogen-containing fertilizers is carried out; autumn - potassium-phosphorus. Mulching the trunk circle with peat, peat compost, wood chips. The thickness of the mulched layer is 8-10 cm.
Planted obliquely, at an angle of 30-40 degrees. It is very important to deepen the root neck of blackcurrant by 5-8 cm. With such a planting, the part of the stem that is in the ground gives a lot of basal shoots and additional roots. A strong bush is formed. For red and white currants - vertical planting - so that the root neck is at the level of the soil. The distance between plants in a row is 1.5 meters, between rows - 2 meters. Currants can also be placed in a checkerboard pattern, this is even better - it is more convenient to care for, pick berries, and the bushes will be treated kindly by the sun.
Thoroughly mix a bucket of humus, 200 g of superphosphate, 50 g of potassium sulfate, 150 g of wood ash with the top fertile soil layer. Never use potassium chloride. Currant suffers greatly from chlorine. Cut the seedling before planting, leave 5-7 buds. This will help form a good bush in the future. Do not water the bushes every day a little bit. It harms the plants. A crust forms, the soil is compacted, the roots do not have enough air.