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Friday, November 27, 2009

Some correct planting procedures for trees, by Dr. Alex Shigo

Fall is the best time of year to plant a tree in the Northern hemisphere !

1. Select healthy trees. Do not buy or plant trees that have roots crushed or crowded in a bag or container.
2. Plant properly. Do not plant too deep.
3. Plant the right tree in the right place. Do not plant large-maturing trees near buildings or power lines.

1. Select healthy trees
Money is wasted when you buy or plant trees that have roots crowded or crushed in bags or containers. Check roots before you buy or plant. If only a few roots are crushed, remove them with a sharp cut.

2. Plant properly
Plant at the depth where roots spread from the trunk. Prepare a planting site, not just a hole in the ground. Loosen the soil far beyond the drip line of the tree. Brace the tree only if it will not remain upright in a moderate wind. If necessary, brace only with broad, belt-like materials that won't injure the bark. Mulch away from the trunk with composted material (mulch should not touch trunk). Keep soil moist, not water-logged, to the depth of the roots. Remove dead and dying branches. Wait until the second growing season to begin training cuts for shaping and to begin fertilizing.

Do not plant to deep. Do not bury roots in small deep holes. Do not wrap trees. Do not amend the soil, unless the soil is very poor. Do not brace the tree so tightly that the tree cannot sway. Do not brace with wire in a hose. Do not fertilize at planting time. Do not plant grass or flowers near the tree. Do not remove branches to balance crown with roots.

3. Plant the right tree in the right place
DO NOT plant large-maturing trees near buildings or power lines. Money is wasted when trees are topped or mutilated later. If a tree must be planted near power lines, plant only dwarf or low, compact species or varieties. Talk to knowledgeable people about the many choices you have for trees that have mature shapes and sizes that will fit your planting site.

About the Author

Dr. Alex L. Shigo is considered by many to be one of the foremost authorities on trees in the world. Shigo Died in 2006. obit

He learned that many commonly-held concepts about heart rot and decomposition and other theories were wrong. "I could either go with the book (theories) or go with what I saw in the tree. Either the books were wrong or the trees were wrong. I chose to go with the trees," Shigo says.

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