Adding arbors on Earth Day
It's been said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. While the origin of the quote isn't clear, its message is. Many people may choose to celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree in the hopes it will grow i...
It's been said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now.
While the origin of the quote isn't clear, its message is.
Many people may choose to celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree in the hopes it will grow into a shade-providing, beautiful part of their home. Others may be looking to replace trees that fell in the wake of last year's July supercell thunderstorm.
Either way, the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources both provide a plethora of information for those looking to put down roots.
The first step to planting a tree is deciding what kind of tree you want to plant. The University of Minnesota Extension's website offers a detailed look at a wide variety of trees, as well as how to take environment and location into account. Consider trees meant for a north-central Minnesota climate like Brainerd's.
Planting in the spring requires a lot of watering the first summer, in order to keep the tree from drying out. A new tree needs 5-7 gallons of water per week, depending on the weather, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. Trees in sandy soil need more water than trees planted in clay soil.
When watering the tree, let the hose trickle slowly for a couple hours rather than just splashing it all at once. Water deeply as opposed to a quick drink, which causes shallow roots. If the root system does not establish well, it will strangle the tree.
When planting the tree, remove the burlap and wire caging that may surround the root system. Plant the tree so the first root flaring out from the trunk is at ground level. If it's planted under ground level, it will circle the tree as it looks for air, which causes it to strangle the tree.
When putting mulch around a newly planted tree, avoid piling mulch up against the trunk, creating a cone. The cone traps moisture against the trunk, making it more vulnerable to cracking, insects, pests and other diseases.
Instead, create a doughnut of mulch around the trunk. There should be at least 4 inches of mulch, wood chips or manure around the tree, but keep it 3-4 inches or more away from the trunk.
The University of Minnesota Extension suggests not adding additional soil when filling in the hole a new tree is planted in. Instead, just use the soil that was used to dig up the hole.
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