Fall tree planting

  From the October 1, 2018 issue of Agri-News
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 Although planning and preparation are vital, proper planting itself is the most crucial part of the fall tree planting process.

“First off, if you bought plastic container stock, very carefully remove the soil by either shaking, soaking or washing with a hose to reveal the root system,” says Toso Bozic, bioenergy and agroforestry specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “By doing so, you will be able to see potential circling, hooking or girdling problems with roots. You may need to do proper pruning or remove the roots that girdle the trees.”

Bozic says to plant the new tree so that roots are just below the surface. “Dig a hole that is as deep as the roots, but twice as wide. The wide hole will make it easier for the new lateral roots to grow into the surrounding soil. For a basket and burlap tree, properly fit it into the hole, then remove the burlap and cut the wire on top before filling in the hole with soil.”

Trees that are small and in a protected area don’t require staking. “That being said, stake trees that are tall, leggy and exposed to high wind.”

“As well, mulching provides a few key functions - it prevents weeds, protects roots from extreme heat and keeps moisture around trees. Create a donut-shaped wood chip cover around your tree to keep water inside. Putting wood chips next to the trunk attracts rodents, insects and potential disease.”

After planting is complete, make sure that to provide enough water prior to freezing. “The amount of water depends on the soil and the tree species’ requirement for water. Water right after planting, three days after and again three days after that. Don’t let your tree get dry. If you can easily push a six-inch screwdriver into the soil, there is enough water. Drip irrigation is long term solution for watering your trees; turf irrigation may not be optimal.”

Bozic adds that fertilization of trees after fall planting is neither recommended nor necessary.

Toso Bozic

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Toso Bozic.
This document is maintained by Christine Chomiak.
This information published to the web on September 17, 2018.