Preparing Your Site for Tree Planting
You plant your tree, but for it to grow successfully the tree must be able to quickly start growing roots into the backfill of the planting hole and into the soil that reaches beyond your planting hole. There are some things you can do to help this occur.
- Make sure that you check the physical/chemical restrictions of the planting area before you plant. If at all possible, make improvements, or choose a tree compatible to the area.
- Improve the sites where you have easy access by improving how your water penetrates and oxygenates.
- For inaccessible sites, make sure that you have ameliorate drainage.
- Plant your trees only as deep as the rootball it. Make your whole twice as wide as the root ball and never ‘fluff up’ the soil that’s under the root ball.
Soil Properties and Tree Growth
Your soil’s main properties are going to influence how successful your planting is especially because of the availability of water and the oxygen that is in the soil. The availability of water is essential for the rapid growth of the roots and the tree’s survival. Oxygen availability will be determined by the amount of water in the soil. Those soils that are too wet will have little oxygen and this reduces root growth.
In a number of the urban sites the development can cause serious soil compaction, which has poor water movement and the roots have a hard time penetrating it. This can cause the roots to be restricted to the hole in which they were planted.
Chemical Soil Properties
The pH level of the soil needs to be checked before you choose your trees. Extreme pH can happen and needs to be remedied before planting. It might be better for you to choose a tree that will grow in that pH rather than trying to fix the soil.
Determine whether the conditions of the site will limit its growth. If you have compacted soil, you can cultivate the surface soil to eliminate compaction. The hole for planting should be wider than the root ball, but not deeper than the root ball. Backfill carefully to ensure compacting doesn’t occur.