Proper Planting Boosts Tree Benefits

Proper Planting Boosts Tree Benefits

Our trees are packed with features that are always benefiting the environment, our health and our homes. But if your trees are not properly planted, you and the surrounding environment may not have access to all of the benefits your trees have to offer.

Earlier this month, Steve Nagy, sales arborist for Davey’s Washington D.C. tree services, joined hosts Melanie Hastings and Kellye Lynn on WJLA’s “Let’s Talk Live” segment. Below we list Nagy’s planting tips to ensure you reap all the benefits of your trees.

KL: What are the benefits of planting a tree?

SN: Planting a tree does so many wonderful things for you, your neighborhood and your home; for example, the shade and the cooling effect, but also things we don’t normally think about would be the filtering of air pollutants and absorbing pollutants out of the soil.

MH: Why is fall such a good time to plant a tree?

SN: Going into winter, the tree is shutting down and doesn’t have as many leaves. So, it’s not going to lose moisture and has the whole winter to recuperate from the transplant shock.

MH: If you’re thinking about planting a tree, what are some of the things to keep in mind and consider before planting?

SN: The tree can grow too fast and encroach on your roof and gutters. There are certain trees that are known to puncture the foundation of your house, and certain roots can grow very aggressively. You need to be careful about how close you get to the house, considering location of the sun, shade and neighbors.

Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil surrounding the roots of your trees during the cold, winter months.

KL: Once you’ve figured out the right tree, how should you proceed with planting it?

SN: You need to dig a larger hole than the root bulb may have. Make sure to use the existing soil on site and don’t bring in additional and change the soil type. You want to choose what’s natural and local and use the appropriate amount of mulch to maintain moisture and keep some of the weeds out. Maintain that for a few years with tree stakes, and then after time, let the tree do what it naturally has to do to grow.

MH: One of the common mistakes after planting a tree is that the owner forgets to water it.

SN: Bags that are designed to clip onto the tree exist. Their tiny perforations allow water to slowly leak into the soil. That’s why you should plant right before winter. After snow and rain, there is plenty of moisture during the winter months. Then, when the hot season arrives, you can water each week.

KL: How often should we be using tree stakes after planting?

SN: Young trees need a little bit of help getting started, so during that first year, keep them staked. When you remove the stakes, the tree should be set. 

View the entire “Let’s Talk Live” segment with Nagy, here. If you would like assistance with your fall tree planting projects, contact your local, professionally trained Davey arborist

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