How to plant a small tree in the garden

How to Plant A Tree the Right Way - 7 Steps for Getting it Right Every Time

With a little luck and good timing, sometimes simply sticking a tree in the ground and walking away can be enough for it to survive. But knowing how to plant a tree the right way, will ensure success every time. In my book, there are 7 steps for planting success which I share below.

Suffice it to say, I’ve learned these all-important st eps mostly by trial and error. It’s always the best way to learn, especially when it comes to gardening.

Trees have been described as the lungs of the earth for good reason. Without them, there would be no life on this planet. That’s reason enough to plant as many as we can. But when you learn just how important they are for so many reasons, you begin to understand my passion for trees and why we need more.

That’s led to a lifelong crusade to encourage people to plant more trees. Or even one. So it only stands to reason how thrilled I was to team up with Lands’ End recently to encourage everyone to #PlantATree in celebration of Earth Day this year.

So whether this is your first tree planting, or you’ve planted a forest by now, we’re always learning. Knowing how to plant a tree the right way — especially now, considering such unprecedented climate conditions — will ensure your efforts will not be in vain.

To give you the whole story, check out this video we created to walk you through how to plant a tree the right way, along with the 7-steps for getting it right every time.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

Trees (and shrubs) can be planted any time of the year that you can dig the proper planting hole. However, there are better times than others for multiple reasons.

Suffice it to say, the more time you can put between when you plant a tree, and the arrival of summer, the better. That makes fall the very best time of year to relocate trees and shrubs or plant new ones. Early spring is a popular time as well.

An easy way to know if your hole is at the right depth is to take your shovel handle and lay it across the grade. The top of the root ball or tree flare should be at or above the handle level.

How to plant a tree the right way – follow these seven important steps:

-1. Prepare the proper planting hole. When preparing any hole for planting, make it three times wider than the current root mass but never deeper than the plant was growing in its previous environment.

An even better guide with trees is to look for the flare of the trunk near the soil level. Don’t place the tree in the planting hole so deep that any part of that flare is covered with soil. The truth is, even nurseries sometimes put plants in containers too deeply. There have been many times where I’ve actually had to pull away soil to find the base of the trunk flare and true surface roots. Make a habit of checking this.

-2. Plant high. I go even one step further by placing trees and shrubs in their new environment with up to 25% of the root ball higher than the surrounding soil level. I then taper soil up to cover all the roots and add a generous layer of mulch above that. Newly disturbed soil tends to settle and shrubs and trees planted at grade can quickly settle below grade and succumb to root rot or disease.

In my book, it’s always better to plant a tree or shrub slightly high and allow the area to drain away rather than for a plant to sit in a bowl and collect excess water.

Don’t be afraid to break up the roots of a pot plant tree or plant to free them of their circular growth pattern. In fact, you must. Failure to do so now (your last chance) can doom your plant to lackluster performance at best.

-3. Inspect the roots and disturb when necessary. Once the plant is out of its container, look at the roots. If they are densely bound in a circular pattern or have started growing in the shape of the container (even slightly), break up the pattern.

It’s vitally important to stop this pattern now. The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to place a rootbound plant into the ground as is. Unless you break up the pattern, you’ve likely sentenced the plant to a slow death. At a minimum, it will likely never establish or reach a fraction of its potential.

Don’t worry about hurting the roots or losing soil as you break the roots apart or even cut some away. Better to give them a fresh start than allow the constrictive pattern to only get worse below ground. While you don’t want to be any rougher than necessary, do what you must to arrest the pattern.

I often scratch my fingers across the sides and bottom of the root mass in mild cases. In more severe situations, I’ll slice up the roots vertically with a pruning saw, hack off the bottom inch or so, and or pull apart the root mass to clearly create new opportunities for non-circular new root development.

Unless you can dig a hole large enough for the eventual mature root zone and amend the entire area, simply backfill with the existing native soil.

-4. Don’t amend the soil. Contrary to traditional planting methods, contemporary research indicates that you should not amend the hole with additional organic material (unless you intend to amend the entire area where roots will eventually grow). Roots growing in amended soil rarely venture into harder native soil. The long-term affect is a smaller root system, reduced growth and a less hardy plant.

Instead, simply break up the clumps in existing soil, remove the rocks and backfill. Studies show plant roots growing in only the native soil actually did a better job at establishing and expanding beyond the original hole.

I find the best and easiest way to eliminate air pockets during planting is to blast the backfilled soil with a stiff stream of water after refilling the hole about half way. Then again after all the soil has been added back.

-5. Eliminate air pockets. While you could lightly tamp or hand-pack the soil around the plant roots to ensure good soil-to-root contact, I prefer to add a stiff spray of water to the hole after backfilling half way. Not only does it provide needed moisture but the water also helps eliminate air pockets that could otherwise result in dead roots or worse (without compacting the soil too much). Finally, water again gently but thoroughly once all the soil is in place.

-6. Add mulch. Starting about two inches from the trunk (leave this area exposed), place roughly two inches of organic matter such as shredded leaves, or ground bark or nuggets around the plant, at least out to the drip line. Further is better. Mulch helps retain much-needed moisture and helps keep roots cooler near the surface—a very important requirement for newly installed plants.

Perhaps the most important step during the planting process is to keep up with the watering until your plant is fully established. That can take longer than you think. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation on automatic times makes this an easy process.

-7. Water Properly Until Established. The most important job you will have after planting is to keep plants and trees well watered until established. This can take weeks to months, to even a year or more in some cases. But don’t worry. You can put this part of the process on auto-pilot. (I’ll tell you how below.)

The key to proper watering and establishment is slow and deep irrigation. It’s not practical to do that by hand. The only way to establish trees properly through irrigation is with soaker hoses or drip irrigation.

The slow and deep irrigation allows the soil around the roots to saturate, so the roots have time to absorb the moisture, while avoiding excess runoff. Short, manual blasts of water from an overhead hose or sprinkler system simply don’t come close to providing the same effectiveness for water delivery.

I water newly planted trees every day for about the first week. For the next two weeks, I ease off to about every other day. Then gradually ease back from there.

However, there’s a fine line between watering enough and watering too much—especially with large trees that arrive with root balls wrapped in burlap. These trees have lost all their feeder roots when dug from the ground. Providing adequate water is critical to their survival and establishment.

That said, I’ve killed more than one tree like this by overwatering. Even if you prepare a large planting hole, when drainage is poor, the root ball may be sitting in water and literally drown. There’s no easy way to know how wet the soil is deeper into the planting hole.

The best advice I can offer is to pay close attention to how the tree responds (and all your plants for that matter). While it’s common for them to lose up to half their leaves to transplant stress (a normal part of the process), more can indicate a potential problem.

If you sense the tree is responding poorly, and you are watering consistently, you’re likely over-watering. If the leaves are turning brown, drying up, and falling off, and the soil appears dry, water more.

To add to the challenge, soil that appears dry at the top may be very wet a few inches down. And the opposite is true as well. All the more reason it is important to apply your detective skills based on observation and knowing how much or little you’ve been watering.

In the first few weeks, soil that is moist but not soggy is your target range. And depending on what you’re using to deliver the water will affect how long you need irrigate per session. So there’s no simple answer.

Put Watering on Auto-pilot

One of the best time-savers you can find to lighten the load and put your irrigation duties on auto-pilot is to use soaker hoses and/or drip irrigation combined with portable battery-operated timers. I cannot stress the importance and time-saving benefits enough!


If you plant to fertilize, I don’t suggest doing so until you know your trees or shrubs have taken to their new environment through successful establishment.

All energy should be concentrated on root development first. Adopt the walk-before-you-run approach. But even then, I still like to play it safe by using a slow-release, non-burning organic fertilizer that won’t over-tax my plants.

While all the above steps are essential, your active engagement in monitoring newly planted trees for signs of distress over time will be the ultimate deciding factor in your tree planting success. Make any necessary adjustments in real-time, and you can likely reverse a potentially downward spiral into a tree that will live a happy and very long life.

Please join me this Earth Day and let’s all #PlantATree.

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe Lamp'l is the Host and Executive Producer of the award winning PBS television series Growing A Greener World. Off camera, Joe dedicates his time to promoting sustainability through his popular books, blog, podcast series, and nationally syndicated newspaper columns. Follow Joe on Twitter

Planting Trees Correctly | Home & Garden Information Center

When to Plant

Container-grown plants and balled and burlapped (B&B) plants with well-developed root systems can be planted throughout the year. However, most B&B plants are dug and planted during the cooler months after leaf drop. Red maples, crape myrtles, hollies and Southern magnolia can be dug at certain times during the summer. Innovative methods of digging during the winter and then potting the B&B trees for subsequent sale during the summer have begun in South Carolina.

As stated, container grown plants can be safely planted at any time of the year, but they are best planted in the fall to take advantage of the dormant season root growth. Unlike the tops of ornamental plants that go dormant and cease growth for the winter, roots of ornamental plants in the Southeast continue to grow throughout the warmer fall and winter months. Fall planting allows the carbohydrates produced during the previous growing season to be directed to root growth since there is little demand from the top. This additional root growth may lessen the dependency of the plant on supplemental irrigation the following summers.

Trees and shrubs must be planted at the right depth and receive the right amount of water if they are to establish themselves and flourish. Planting too deeply and under- or overwatering are among the most common and serious planting errors.

Soil Preparation

While shaping the final grade of the planting beds, remember the importance of good drainage. Poorly drained soils are a leading cause of plant problems in the landscape. Therefore, before placing the first plant in the ground it is important to take steps to assure adequate drainage.

If a site is known to be poorly-drained, create raised beds. Often beds can be elevated 8 to 12 inches above the existing grade by using native soil on site, but sometimes it is necessary to bring in additional well-drained soil. In extreme cases, you may have to install a drain tile to help carry water off the site.

In shaping the final grade, avoid leaving dips or pockets where water is likely to stand. Shape beds so that excess water will be carried off the site and away from buildings. Water also can be directed to unplanted areas. Few ornamental plants, with the exception of pond plants, can tolerate long periods of standing water. Good drainage is critical for most ornamental plants.

If you are planting around new construction, remove any debris left on the site that may cause plant growth problems. Chunks of concrete, roofing shingles, globs of tar, oil spills and sheetrock are a few of the hazards of new construction sites. These can result in long-term growth problems. Soil compaction is also a problem near new construction. Tilling deeply and incorporating organic matter is often sufficient to loosen hard compacted soils.

Soil Test

In addition to examining the physical properties of the soil and taking corrective measures on poorly drained soils, a soil test will determine which nutrients need to be applied and whether you need to adjust the pH. A soil sample is best taken several weeks before planting so you will know how to treat the soil at planting time. However, if new soil is brought onto the site at planting time or if soil is moved around during the final grading, it is best to wait until all the soil is in place before sampling. You can adjust pH or surface-apply fertilizer at the recommended rate later, after plants are established. Soil testing is available at a nominal fee through county Extension offices. For more information on soil testing, refer to the fact sheet HGIC 1652, Soil Testing.

The majority of ornamental plants prefer a soil pH from 5.8 to 6.5. Above or below this pH range, nutrient deficiencies often result. To raise the pH level of an acid soil, dolomitic lime is usually added, while the pH level of alkaline soils can be lowered with amendments like sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Adjusting soil pH without the benefit of a soil test can result in nutrition problems that are difficult to counteract and correct. Follow soil

test results.

Organic Amendments

Organic amendments such as composted products are applied to soils to improve the nutrient and water-holding capacity of soils, or, in general terms, to improve soil tilth. Research has shown that when adding organic matter to a soil, it is best to incorporate it throughout the rooting zone as opposed to placing it in the planting hole. By incorporating an amendment uniformly in the soil, the entire rooting area becomes a uniform growing environment for roots.

On the other hand, when a planting hole alone is amended, the structure of the soil in the hole can differ significantly from that of the surrounding native soil, if an excessive amount or the wrong type is added. This can encourage the roots to stay within the confines of the hole and discourages them from entering the surrounding native soil, especially if a perfectly round planting hole is dug.

Some types of organic materials and quantities of them can also upset the water equilibrium between the surrounding native soil and the soil in the hole. Fine-textured organic matter such as peat moss, placed in the planting hole can act like a sponge in a bathtub, holding too much moisture after rain or irrigation. Coarser-textured material, such as composted pine bark, is less likely to hold excess moisture. In heavy clay soils, use a shovel or mattock to notch out the sides of the round planting hole. This will enable growing roots to more easily enter the surrounding soil.

Organic matter should comprise approximately 10 to 20 percent of the total soil volume. For example, preparing a bed 8 inches deep requires the addition of about 1 to 2 inches of organic matter such as compost, leaf mold, or composted pine bark. Drainage can be improved in clay soils by subsoiling or deep tilling prior to adding organic matter.

Composted materials immediately provide organic matter to the soil. Do not use uncomposted bark products as amendments. Freshly milled bark that has not been composted will slowly rob plants of nitrogen when used as an amendment. As microorganisms in the soil feed on bark and decompose it, they will use nitrogen in the soil. Also, the pH of the soil often drops dramatically below the desirable range when uncomposted materials are used as amendments.

Well-composted organic products have a rich, earthy smell, a crumbly appearance, and the original organic materials are no longer recognizable. For the best choices of composted material, choose either well decomposed material from your home compost pile, or purchase composted pine bark. The composted pine bark may still contain some small bark chips, but this can aid in improving the internal drainage in fine-textured clay soils. Additionally, composted pine bark may help suppress certain soil borne disease causing organisms.

How Deep to Plant

Trees and shrubs must be planted at the right depth and receive the right amount of water if they are to establish themselves and flourish. Planting too deeply and under- or overwatering are among the most common and serious planting errors.

In well-drained soil, the planting hole should never be dug any deeper than the height of the root ball. This means that the soil at the bottom of the hole is left undisturbed. Setting the root ball on loosened soil will cause the tree to settle and sink too deeply into the soil. Locate the topmost layers of roots in the root ball so that it will be level with the soil surface. Check to be sure that there is not an excess layer of soil (or container media) already covering the root ball. As little as a half-inch of excess soil over the root ball can inhibit or prevent water from entering the root ball, especially on trees planted from containers. Only mulch should be placed over the root ball. In well-drained soil, the planting hole should be at least twice and preferably five times wider than the root ball. Roots will grow more quickly into loosened soil, thus speeding up the tree’s establishment time.

In poorly drained or compacted soil, the plant is best placed higher than its original planting depth at about 2 to 4 inches higher than the surrounding soil. Be sure to build the soil up beside the root ball so that the sides are not exposed, and do not place additional soil on top of the root ball. This will allow oxygen to reach the roots in the upper surface of soil. It will also cause excess water to drain away from the plant rather than collecting beneath it. Do not disturb the soil under the root ball to prevent any later settling, which will move the plant roots deeper into the soil. The top of the root ball may dry out quickly in the summer on some sites, so be prepared to irrigate accordingly.

Preparing & Setting the Root Ball

Trees and shrubs grown in plastic or other hard-sided containers can be removed from their containers and placed directly in the holes prepared for them. Cut any circling roots so they will not strangle the tree later on. If a tree or shrub is pot-bound, use pruning shears or a serrated knife to make slices 1 to 2 inches deep going from the top of the root ball to the bottom. Make these slices in three or four places around the root ball. Pull the roots growing along the outside of the root ball away from the root ball. Research has shown that although this kind of pruning does not increase root growth after planting, slicing root balls, whether pot-bound or not, enhances the distribution of regenerated roots in the surrounding landscape soil. New roots grow from behind the cut ends.

When preparing the hole for a bare-root tree, dig it wide enough so that roots can be spread out. Do not cut or break roots or bend them in order to fit the hole. Use a sharp pruning tool to cut or trim any roots that are obviously dead, injured or dried.

Spread the roots out and position the topmost root just under the soil surface. Shallow roots either may be parallel with the soil surface or angled slightly downwards. Some people spread the roots over a mound of firm soil in the planting hole and carefully place soil between groups of roots; others wash soil between the roots.

Natural or synthetic burlap is used on trees that are balled-and-burlapped (B&B). To determine which type has been used, hold a match to a small portion of the burlap. As a rule, natural burlap will burn and synthetic will melt.

Synthetic burlap will not decompose in the soil and can cause roots to girdle the tree. Because this could ultimately strangle the tree, remove synthetic burlap entirely. After pulling burlap away from the sides of the root ball, tip the root ball to one side and push the burlap underneath it as far as possible. Then tip the root ball to the other side and slide the burlap out from under it. The tipping should be performed by handling the root ball; pushing on the trunk of the tree could crack the root ball. When a wire basket is holding synthetic burlap in place, cut away the basket to remove the synthetic burlap, or, if the lower portion of the basket must be left intact, cut an “X” in the burlap in each section of the basket.

Natural burlap is biodegradable and can be left along the sides and bottom of the root ball, but should always be removed from the top of the root ball where it is subject to drying out. Dry burlap repels water, making it difficult to rewet the root ball. In poorly drained areas, remove the natural burlap entirely, if possible, to prevent it from holding too much moisture near the roots.

Wire baskets and wire wrapping are frequently used to help hold a B&B root ball intact during shipping and handling. Trees that are stored after being dug with a tree spade are also placed in wire baskets. This is an effective means of keeping roots in contact with soil until planting. Remove at least the top portion of the wire basket after the root ball is in place.

Filling the Planting Hole

The soil used to fill in around the root ball of the newly planted tree or shrub is called backfill. Your best backfill will be the loosened original soil from the planting hole mixed with 10 to 20 percent compost.

Loosen and break up any clods of soil before backfilling. Clods in the backfill create detrimental air pockets around the root ball and could hinder root growth and establishment. Place the plant into the planting area or hole at the correct depth, and then backfill the bottom half of the space around the root ball.

Tamp the soil lightly with your foot. If amendments are not used, do not tamp so heavily as to compact the soil. Finish filling the hole with loose, unamended soil, and gently tamp again.

Construct a 3-inch-high water ring around the edge of the root ball to hold irrigation water. Initially the root ball will need to be watered directly because roots have not yet spread into the surrounding soil.

Pruning at Planting

Little if any pruning should be necessary at the time of transplant. Do not prune a B&B plant to compensate for root loss. Research indicates that pruning does not help overcome transplant shock unless the plant is receiving insufficient water.

Branches that are injured, diseased or dead may be pruned but are also an indication of a poor-quality tree. It would be best to exchange it for a healthy one.

Trees with poor structure should be pruned at planting to correct the problem, especially if no further pruning is planned for the next year or two. Poor form should not be permitted to develop, as it will become increasingly more difficult to correct. On trees with adequate form, begin pruning for structural development a year or two after planting.


Apply 2 to 4 inches of organic mulch over the planted area. Do not allow mulch to touch the stem or trunk to reduce chances of stem rot. Mulching helps to eliminate weeds, retain moisture in the soil, moderate soil temperatures, and eventually adds to soil organic matter content. It also helps decrease erosion of raised soil around plants that are planted above the soil level. Some commonly used mulches include pine needles, pine bark, hardwood bark, wood chips and partially ground leaves.


Initially the root ball will need to be watered directly because roots have not yet spread into the surrounding soil. The raised soil water ring will help concentrate the water in the root ball area. Water the plant slowly and well after mulching. It is important to note that many plants die from too little or too much water during the first few months after planting. Plants in well-drained soil often get too little water, and those in poorly drained soil get too much water.

Become familiar with the planting site, and try to maintain constant moisture (not saturation) in the root ball for the first few months after transplanting. Some sites dry out more quickly than others and will require more watering. Water rings should be removed by the end of the second growing season if they have not settled on their own. Good watering practices result in plants that establish more rapidly and thus become more quickly resistant to drought, pests and disease. For further information on watering newly planted shrubs and trees, refer to the fact sheet HGIC 1056, Watering Shrubs & Trees.


For more information on fertilizing trees and shrubs, refer to the fact sheet HGIC 1000, Fertilizing Trees & Shrubs.

Para obtener la versión en español de esta hoja informativa, consulte HGIC 1001S, La forma correcta de plantar árboles.

Originally published 05/99

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.

How to plant a garden: the secrets of a viable backyard garden - planning and planting

There is a belief that we - landscape designers - deliberately create unsustainable gardens for clients. So that as they grow, they require constant maintenance (digging, replanting, replacing plants) and constant financial investments.

And with the slogan "it's easier to do it yourself - it will obviously be cheaper" many site owners take up landscape design on their own. But unfortunately, this does not guarantee that you will not have to dig, replant or replace plants. And here's the thing.

Mary-Liz Campbell Landscape Design

We're getting the idea of ​​a garden wrong
The traditional approach is based on brute intervention and control of plant growth: significant land replacement, frequent chemical treatments and aggressive fertilization. For the first few years in such a garden, we have a “beautiful picture” (the same style or design for which a specialist was invited). And all subsequent years, by investing money and physical effort, we are trying to support the fading life of plants. Bottom line: instead of a garden - an ecological nightmare.

Meanwhile, plants can live in strong symbiosis and create comfortable conditions for growth, flowering and fruiting for each other. It is clear that minimal agrotechnical measures will have to be carried out - if nothing is done at all, any site will turn into impenetrable thickets, or, conversely, into a wasteland overgrown with wild grass. However, the amount of intervention can be significantly reduced.

Le jardinet

This requires a change in attitude - instead of a request for a "garden in a certain style" (a beautiful picture, like from a magazine), another should appear. To the garden, where plants will mutually reinforce each other, create conditions for each other for comfortable growth. And almost do not require your direct intervention.

Good Question: Little Care Garden – Is it Fairy Tales

Adam Woodruff LLC

Important Questions to Answer:

  • Which plants are best suited to each other based on lighting conditions, moisture in the soil and in the air, the soil composition of your garden?
  • How to properly plant a garden so that trees and shrubs can grow in the neighborhood for 5,10, 15 or more years and not be mutually oppressed?
  • How to create a really decorative beautiful garden from spring to late autumn, which will please the eye from spring to late autumn?

By answering these intriguing questions, you can learn how to create gardens that will require less maintenance every year. And the beauty of such sites will only grow with time.

Bloom Landscape Design and Fine Gardening Service

Find problem areas in the garden
Ask yourself: which part of the garden takes you the most time and effort, and where do you rest and relax the most? Rarely are all places in the garden the same.

Finding areas with a high level of service will help you rationally approach the task of changing or eliminating “poorly functioning” garden functions.

For example, in the middle lane there are not so many plants that can please with bright decorative accents. Instead, you can pick up shrubs with decoratively colored foliage and use them as the main volume in the flower garden, saving on expensive perennial or annual flower crops. Each such decision leads to optimization of time and effort.

On the topic ...

  • Plants: Choosing decorative for the garden
  • Decorative bushes: 12 reasons to plant them in your garden

ADODRUFF LLC 9000 plot. This is the starting point, which will tell you what to grow, guide you in the selection of the assortment. The natural and climatic preferences of plants must match or be similar - then they can be combined and be sure of the successful growth of a sustainable and unpretentious plant community on the site.

In case of insufficient soil moisture, we can replace moisture-loving plants with drought-resistant ones. And vice versa.

Moisture for good: Dealing with a damp wetland

For forest shady areas where tree crowns let in a minimum of sunlight, shade-tolerant plants that can grow on sandy soil with high acidity characteristic of the forest and nutritional deficiencies. And, for example, in areas with partial shading, or without it at all, drought-resistant light-loving plants with minimal requirements for soil moisture will grow well.

on the topic ..

  • Shadow plants for the garden
  • Sunless plants for the garden


AMYA 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 , which first produces and then uses all the necessary soil nutrients and organic additives.

Today, shredders and advanced composting systems allow anyone to learn how to compost on their own. Make the most of the green waste your lawns and gardens produce. Mowed grass, weeds after weeding, food waste (cleanings, crusts, bits) - all these components should not be stacked in a heap, but according to the rules: in layers in the place allotted for compost. After three years, this soil is sieved, and only then it is used for perennials, and in the garden, and for planting trees. By recycling what your garden gives you to reuse as fertilizer in it, you create a renewable, self-sustaining system.

on the topic ...

  • How to make compost in the country and not to go around
  • How to make a house compost in urban conditions

Arthuris Garden Designer

9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 and the more complex your plantings will be, the less maintenance they will require. Plant the garden moderately densely. Dense planting gives the garden scale, completeness of visual perception and a “juicy” look.

In addition, dense planting creates a special microclimate, because there is a shading of the soil from exposure to the sun and protection from intense winds. Plants create scenes with high air humidity, which has a positive effect on trees and shrubs not only during the period of active growth, but also protects them from early frosts. Plus, dense planting makes it difficult for weeds to grow, which saves you effort in garden maintenance. But…

Really Nice Gardens

Make sure that the roots of trees and shrubs are not in close proximity when planting: so that one plant does not begin to grow in another - this leads to inhibition of plant growth. In the future, overgrown crowns can interfere with neighboring plantings. For example, fruit crops like apples and pears should preferably be planted at least 4 meters apart. No matter how skillfully you form these plants in the future, they will need at least 1.5 meters for the growth of branches in each direction.

Maintain optimum distances between trees and shrubs, sufficient for their potentially successful development and growth. Any landing density has a limit. Think carefully about where and what kind of plant you want to plant.

Plant Root System: Why Understanding It Matters

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Buy Good Seedlings
Use only high quality planting material with a well developed root system . Before buying a seedling with an open root system, carefully inspect the roots: they should be slightly moist and elastic. Moreover, not only thick roots, but also the thinnest ones. The more stable the roots, the better the seedlings will survive the transplant.

Checking if a seedling is alive is easy: cut off the tip of the root with pruning shears. The cut should be white or pink. All other shades indicate that the seedling was simply soaked in water, and it lost its viability even before the sale. Also, you can not plant seedlings with frozen roots.

Plants with a closed root system must also be chosen meticulously. First, try removing the plants from the container. Plants planted before sale are removed without a clod of earth. But a lump of earth with white braiding roots says not only that the seedling has been growing in a container for a long time, but also about the well-being of the plant. Such a seedling will certainly take root well and begin to bear fruit early.

Falon Land Studio LLC

Prepare the soil
Before planting, prepare the soil by analyzing the original soil in your area.

If the soil is clay, add humus, compost, sand and peat in the appropriate proportions - 30/30/20/20.

If the soil is peat - compost and humus. Humus (rotted cow or horse manure) is good for enriching the soil, but it can only be used as an additive to the soil, after letting it rot for two years.

Adam Woodruff LLC

Don't be intimidated by the scale
The most common design mistake is making flower beds too small. Wide scale mixborders look better. Individual crops are planted in large spots to achieve a high decorativeness of the flower garden as a whole. Densely planted flower beds are much easier to care for - the plants not only create conditions for each other to increase the humidity of the air, which reduces the frequency of watering, but also prevent the growth of weeds. If you still have weeds, then you don't have enough plants in your garden.

Adam Woodruff LLC

Choose a natural style
Like grassland and woodland where the plants blend well together. Avoid planting perennials that are "alien" to your bioregion. This will reduce the cost and scope of annual planting of flyers and maintenance of non-native plant species.

Fill flower beds with a densely planted matrix of shrubs, perennials, bulbs and herbs. Let about a third of the plants in each flower bed be evergreens, and from a third to a half - native plants.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Strengthen, don't weaken
Properly planting a garden in your summer cottage is not enough. You still need to take good care of it. There is a biological law: pollinating insects are attracted to the strongest and most viable plants, and pest insects are attracted to weakened and oppressed ones. It is in your power to create favorable conditions for the garden so that it is healthy and strong, and therefore resistant to pest attack.

The formula is simple: timely care, watering, fertilization, pruning and harvesting (if we are talking about fruit crops) increase the resistance of trees to adverse conditions.

Verne Pershing, The Art of Gardening

Water Properly
Automatic irrigation systems are relevant for lawns. And only for them! It is better to use in your garden targeted sprinkler sprinklers and ordinary watering cans that water the soil, and not the foliage of plants from above.

Watering leaves can damage them, and moisture from their surface can evaporate before reaching the soil. Be mindful of the timing: Watering before 9am strengthens the plants and helps them survive the midday heat by providing the best balance between moisture and evaporation. Large trees are best watered less often, but very plentifully, and not little by little and often.

Steve Masley Consulting and Design

Forget the chemistry
Keep your soil free of pesticides - control pests and plant diseases without the use of chemicals. Yes, nothing fights harmful insects and pathogens as effectively as pesticides. But there is also a downside to their use: a decrease in the quality of fruits and vegetables due to the accumulation of pesticide residues in them, as well as a decrease in the overall quality of life, ours and our descendants, due to environmental poisoning. Use other methods to control pests and diseases:

  • agrotechnical - change of crops, mechanical tillage (such as loosening and deep digging), proper fertilization, regular fertilizing and watering;
  • physical-mechanical - manual collection of inactive insects, i.e. caterpillars, beetles and their larvae, homemade traps;
  • biological - planting nectar-bearing plants, such as dill, carrot, parsley, coriander, to attract beneficial entomophagous insects that destroy pests;
  • ecological means - infusions and decoctions from wild and cultivated plants, which have the ability to kill pathogens and insects.

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  • Sed Vitition: Hard to Sadovy and Vegetable Cultures 9000 9000 Modern Landscape Care mulch and mulch again
    To keep the soil moist, prevent temperature fluctuations, and suppress weeds, place a deep layer of mulch on all planted surfaces. Preferred mulch materials are organic. As mulch, rotted composts, mowed grass and bark are used. Deeper layers - 10-15 cm (usually gardeners are advised to make a layer of 5-10 cm), distributed over open areas of soil twice a year, do an excellent job of retaining moisture and suppressing weeds. In snowless winters, mulch can be spread from October to April. A thick layer of mulch will save you a significant amount of work on the site, and weeding will become more of a pleasant change than a weekly hassle.

    Natural Farming: Mulching and Sodding “For the Lazy”

    Barbara Pintozzi

    Pruning fruit trees and stone fruits 900 That is, in compliance with the seasonal schedule and time corresponding to each species and variety of plant, taking into account the place of growth of trees (bioregion), their age / size. Before you start pruning itself, determine what it is for and make a plan of action. Do you want to form the correct tree crown? Strengthen thin young shoots? Remove crossing branches? Discharge the crown for the penetration of sunlight into it? - This will be the shaping pruning. Remove diseased branches, allowing them to grow healthy? Increase the number of fruit-bearing branches? Prepare your tree for winter? - It's sanitary pruning. Once the goal is determined, it is important to learn pruning techniques.

    Important: For a safe pruning procedure, you must have sharp, serviceable and in no case rusty garden tools, as well as cutting agents.

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    Aza Gardener: Pruning of fruit trees and shrubs

    Zeterre Landscape Architecture

    Start preparing the garden
    from the second half complex fertilizers containing phosphorus and potassium. These elements help to increase the winter hardiness of all parts of plants.

    Harvest in time in the orchard, do not leave fruits on the trees. In September-October, you can harden the roots to increase their resistance to low temperatures.

    In the second half of autumn (from the moment of massive leaf fall and until the soil freezes), especially if it is dry, it is necessary to carry out moisture charging irrigation. To insulate the roots after autumn tillage, the area around the trunk circles should be covered with a 10 cm thick layer of mulch (humus, dry peat, leaves, sawdust, etc.). On thaw days, the lower part of the bole should not be under the mulch - the bark will support.

    Amy Renea

    Protect trees from sunburn and frost cracks, especially the lower part of the trunk. Autumn whitewash will protect the bark from the sun's rays. However, it does not provide the tree with the necessary thermal insulation, so the stems cool down at night. To protect them from frost cracks, tie the trees with light-colored insulating materials that allow air to pass through well. Such "bandages" will help protect the garden from damage by rodents. Forks of skeletal branches that are difficult to tie, whiten.

    Continue care in winter. After heavy snowfalls and in icy conditions, free the boles and branches from adhering snow and ice. To do this, it is enough to gently knock on the branches with a pole tied with a woolen cloth. During the thaw, depressions form in the snow near the trunks, in which cold air accumulates - such funnels need to be trampled down or covered with snow.

    Studio William Hefner

    Save the effort

    Paths are gravel. Use natural materials such as crushed gravel to build paths and areas on your property—inexpensive and easy to maintain. By no means rounded fine gravel with peas - it is unsafe underfoot. Gravel passes water well and ensures uniform distribution of natural moisture. For you, this means less watering. What's more, gravel plots keep their weed-free appearance (and that's without the use of a fire cultivator or acids that change the pH of the soil for a year).

    Terra Ferma Landscapes

    For furniture and fences - hardwood. Whether you're building fences or buying furniture, choose hardwoods over softwoods. The latter require more maintenance. If you decide to paint your wooden fence or furniture, remember that this will have to be repeated again and again in the future. It's better to drop this idea right away - just leave the wood in its natural color and you will have much less work to maintain it.

    The Posh Shed Company

    House for accessories. Don't skimp on storage space for tools and garden utensils. The easier it is to get and clean household inventory, the lower the workload in the garden will be.

    Richard Clayton Barrett

    Get rid of your lawn. No moisture-loving ground covers or perennials need to be mowed and fed as often as the lawn requires.

    Start by skirting each tree around the trunk circle with native or regionally adapted plants. Don't try to plant border annuals; instead, use woodland plants that compete well and don't mind the company of tree roots.

    To keep your planting looking good in any season, combine spring and summer bulbs with drought tolerant evergreen groundcovers that can be mowed once or twice a year. For example, plant bulbs such as spring crocus (Crocus vernus ) and blueberry ( Scilla ), summer flowering Schubert onion ( Allium schubertii) and autumn colchicum (crocus) autumn ( Cólchicum autumnále ), which can produce " textured carpet" in combination with periwinkle ( Vinca minor) . Caring for bulbous perennials is simple: carefully cover the "falling asleep" bulb with soil along with withered foliage and scatter compost on each flower bed in spring and autumn.

    Bliss Garden Design, LLC

    Use the principles of sustainable gardening and you will have a viable and beautiful garden that blooms profusely and bears fruit, which will need only a few hours of maintenance every week (or every month during the off-season).

    Do you know how to properly plan and plant a garden on your property? TO What principles help you interfere less with the natural life cycles of plants? Share your life hacks and knowledge in the comments under the article

    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 really flow more slowly. 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, Troubleshooting: What went wrong in the flower bed need 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 seedlings directly determines 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."

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    • Autumn Garden: Criteria for choosing planting material
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    Urbanscapesdetroit Corne system 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.

    Patricia Grolier.

    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.

    Natalie DeNormandie

    Seedlings too "adult" . Transplantation is most easily tolerated by young one to 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 as adults. Therefore, they especially need proper preparation for digging.

    Family tree: Choosing plants for centuries ” — wisely

    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 defined by GOST 53135-2008 "Planting material for fruit, berry, subtropical, nut-bearing, citrus crops and tea".

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    Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

    2. Incorrect preparation for planting

    The sample broke up during the storage or storage of
    . 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, pour mixed soil of an intermediate composition around the root ball when planting.

    Meal is Served: Horticultural and Vegetable Nutrition Guide

    EXOTEK Design

    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. 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. Mismatch conditions

    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 exotics 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 levels cause 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 a different acidic soil composition. 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.

    Plant Root System: Why Understanding It Is Important

    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

    LD Studio

    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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    Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

    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.

    Gardening Basics: Pruning Fruit Trees and Shrubs

    Jay Sifford Garden Design

    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.

    ETs Ekopochva-LD

    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.

    Winter on the Lot: First Aid to Plants After a Snowfall

    Kerry Burt & Associates

    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 with little or no symptoms at all. Therefore, carefully monitor the condition of the tree.

    Pacific Hedge - Tree Care

    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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    Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

    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.

    Aude Bunetel

    3. Inspect the trunk. 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.

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