Planting trees is extremely satisfying. You dig a hole, put a tree seedling in the ground, cover the hole with voila, and soil, you have done something nice for the earth and future generations. So it’s hardly surprising that businesses, governments, conservation organisations and people worldwide are talking about planting trees – lots and lots of trees. But is it really that simple?
We’re afraid not. The planting of trees has been touted as the panacea for a variety of environmental and social issues. Indeed, people and the millions of other species that rely on forests can reap many benefits from well-planned tree planting and other initiatives to conserve and increase forest cover. However, planting trees is not without its drawbacks, and getting the desired results calls for careful preparation and dedication over time. By taking part in a tree-planting programme offered by CVC, you may aid in the revitalisation and enhancement of your neighbourhood and property in a number of ways, including:
- Value enhancement and aesthetic enhancement through landscape diversification
- Expanding wooded areas
- Aiding in the reduction of carbon emissions and the struggle against global warming;
- Raising the standard of the natural world
- Extending the range of existing creatures and creating new habitats for them
- Enhancing the standard of water in your lakes and streams
- Shielding underground water sources
- Enhancing your time spent in the great outdoors
The Proper Way To Plant A Tree.
Time Of Sowing
It doesn't matter what time of year it is, you can plant a container-grown plant or a burlapped (B&B) and balled plant with a healthy root system. But most B&B plants are planted and dug in the fall following leaf fall, when temperatures are more favourable. At specific times in the summer, you can dig up crape myrtles, hollies, red maples, and Southern magnolias. Digging for B&B trees in the winter and reselling them in pots in the summer is a relatively new practice in South Carolina.
Even though it's true that you can plant your container plants at any time of year, the optimum time to do it is in the fall so that your plants can enjoy the benefits of the dormant season's root growth. During the winter, ornamental plants in the Southeast's milder climate go dormant, but their roots keep growing. Since there is less demand from the top during fall planting, the carbohydrates created even during previous growing season can be allocated to root growth. Increased root development throughout the winter may allow the plant to survive the summer without as much extra water.
In order to establish themselves and thrive, trees and shrubs require a specific amount of water and a specific planting depth. The most common and potentially disastrous planting mistakes are planting too deeply and not watering enough.
Keep proper drainage in mind when you shape the planting beds' final slope. Soils that don't drain well are a major contributor to difficulties with landscaping plants. Therefore, proper drainage must be established before the first plant is planted. Raise your beds off the ground if you need to plant in an area with inadequate drainage. Beds can be raised 8 to 12 inches above grade using natural soil on site, but sometimes it's necessary to bring in additional well-drained soil. In extreme circumstances, you might need to install drain tile to help channel water away from the structure.
Avoid creating low spots or hollows in the final grade where water can collect. Form the beds in such a way that any rainwater is directed away from the structure. Uncultivated land can also benefit from water rerouting. Except for pond plants, almost few decorative plants can survive under prolonged exposure to water. Most decorative plants require a soil that drains well.
Before planting in the area around a new building, make sure the land has been cleared of any debris that could stunt the development of the plants. The hazards of new construction sites include, but are not limited to, broken concrete, shingles, tar, oil leaks, and sheetrock. Issues with long-term development may come from them. New construction areas often have issues with soil compaction. Compacted soils can be broken up by tilling deeply and adding organic matter.
Conducting A Soil Analysis
For example, a soil test can tell you whether or not you need to change the pH of the soil, which nutrients should be provided, and whether or not the soil needs to be amended because of poor drainage. It's preferable to collect a soil sample a few weeks before planting so you can prepare the soil accordingly. Waiting until all the dirt is in place is recommended if new soil is brought onto the site during planting time or if the earth is moved around during final grading. Later, once plants are established, you can do things like alter pH or apply fertiliser to the surface at the prescribed rate. County Extension offices often offer soil testing for a small price. Review HGIC 1652, Soil Testing, for additional details on this topic.
Most decorative plants thrive on soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5. Nutrient shortages are common when the pH level is either high or too low. Dolomitic lime is commonly used to neutralise acid soil, while aluminium sulphate or sulphur are used to reduce alkaline soil pH. Changing the pH of your soil without first doing a soil test might lead to nutrient deficiencies that are difficult to fix.
Alterations To The Organic Structure
Soil additives, including composted goods, are used to increase the soil's fertility and water retention, or tilth. Adding organic matter to the soil is recommended, but instead of just putting it in the planting hole, it should be worked into the soil throughout the entire rooting zone. Adding an amendment to the soil on a large scale creates a consistent environment in which roots can flourish across the entire planting area. Contrarily, if only a planting hole is altered, the resulting soil structure may be very different from the natural soil around it. In the case of a perfectly round planting hole, this can restrict the roots from spreading out into the surrounding native soil and instead keep them contained within the hole.
It's possible for certain kinds of organic quantities and materials to disturb the water balance between the native soil around the hole and the soil in the hole itself. Placing fine-textured organic matter like peat moss in the planting hole can act like a sponge in a bathtub, holding too much water after rain or irrigation. Materials with a coarser texture, such composted pine bark, are less prone to become soggy from too much moisture. Notch the sides of the round planting hole with a shovel or mattock when working with thick clay soils. This will make it easier for roots to spread out into the soil.
15% to 25% of the soil volume should be organic matter. To make a bed that is 8 inches deep, for instance, you need to add roughly 1 to 2 inches of organic materials like compost, composted pine bark or leaf mould. Deep tilling or subsoiling clay soils to improve drainage is recommended before organic matter is added.
How Far Should I Dig?
Planting trees and shrubs at the appropriate depth and providing them with sufficient water are essential for their successful establishment and growth. One of the most typical and harmful mistakes gardeners make is planting too deeply or not watering enough.
Never dig the planting hole deeper than the root ball's height, even in soil that drains well. In other words, the earth at the hole's base is not disturbed in any way. If you plant the tree's root ball on loosened dirt, the tree will sink too far into the ground. The soil surface should be level with the uppermost root layers in the root ball. Verify that the root ball is not buried under too much soil (or container medium). If you put a tree in a container, don't add more than an extra half an inch of soil on top of the root ball. A root ball should be covered with nothing except mulch. The planting hole in well-drained soil should be at least twice as wide as the root ball, and preferably five times as wide. The time it takes for a tree to become established can be decreased by loosening the soil around its roots.
Planting the plant 2 to 4 inches higher than its initial planting depth is recommended in compacted soil or poorly drained. Do not add soil on top of the root ball, but rather build up the soil around it so that the sides are not exposed. This will allow air to permeate the soil and reach the roots. It will also prevent any puddles from forming around the base of the plant. To prevent the plant's roots from being pushed deeper into the soil as a result of subsequent settling, avoid disturbing the soil beneath the root ball. Be prepared to water the top of the root ball more frequently in the summer on some sites due to rapid drying.
Fixing The Root Ball
If you have trees or shrubs in plastic or other hard-sided containers, you may simply remove them from their containers and plant them in the prepared holes. The tree will be spared a future death by strangulation if surrounding roots are cut. Use a serrated knife or pruning shears to make vertical cuts, 2-3 inches deep, from the top of the root ball to the bottom, if a shrub or tree is confined to a container. Create these openings in at least a few spots all across the root ball. To separate the root ball from the roots that are growing around it, pull them apart. Cutting root balls, whether they are pot-bound or not, has been demonstrated to improve the distribution of regenerated roots in the surrounding landscape soil, despite the fact that this sort of pruning does not stimulate root growth after planting. Back at the stumps where the old roots were severed, new ones began to sprout.
When planting a bare-root tree, make sure you dig a hole with plenty of room for the roots to spread out. Roots should not be broken or twisted to make them smaller to suit the opening. Dead, damaged, or dried-out roots should be trimmed with a sharp pruning tool. Distribute the roots widely, burying just the very topmost one in the dirt. Some shallow roots grow in a straight line, whereas others have a downward slant. There are two common methods for planting trees: spreading the roots across a mound of firm soil in the planting hole and carefully placing soil between groups of roots, and washing soil between the roots.
Completing The Digging Of The Planting Hole
Backfill refers to the dirt used to fill the space around the root ball of a newly planted tree or shrub. You should use the loosened soil from the planting hole, together with 10-20% compost, as backfill. Prior to loosening, backfilling and breaking up any dirt clods. Root development and establishment are stunted by the presence of clods in the backfill. Place the plant into the planting area or hole at the desired depth, and then backfill the bottom half of the space surrounding the root ball.
Lightly stomp the ground to compact it. In the absence of amendments, the soil should not be tamped down to the point of compaction. Complete the hole's filling with unamended, loose dirt and tamp down lightly once more. Build a water ring around the outside of the root ball that is 3 inches high to collect irrigation runoff. At first, you'll need to water the root ball itself, rather than the dirt around it, because the roots haven't yet extended out into the surrounding area.
As a general rule, minimal pruning should be done at the time of transplant. Never cut back a B&B plant in an effort to make up for diminished root coverage. Inadequate watering, rather than pruning, is what helps plants recover from transplant shock, according to the available literature. Damaged, diseased, or dead branches can be removed, but this is still a sign of a low-quality tree. Swapping it off for a wholesome alternative is the greatest option.
When planting a tree, if the tree has poor structure and no further trimming is planned for the next year or two, then the tree should be pruned at planting to rectify the problem. The bad form shouldn't be allowed to persist, as it will grow harder to fix if allowed to mature. Start structural development trimming on trees with adequate form a year or two after planting.
Cover the ground around the plants with an organic mulch of two to four inches in depth. To prevent stem rot, mulch should not touch the stem or trunk. Mulching has many benefits, including reducing the growth of weeds, keeping soil moist, lowering soil temperatures, and ultimately increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil. It also aids in preventing soil erosion around plants that are set above ground. Pine bark, pine needles, wood chips, hardwood bark, and partially crushed leaves are all examples of mulches that are widely employed.
At first, you'll need to water the root ball itself, rather than the dirt around it, because the roots haven't yet extended out into the surrounding area. The root ball will get more water than the surrounding soil because of the elevated soil water ring. After mulching, give the plant a gentle, steady soaking of water. Many plants perish in the first few months after planting due to improper watering. To a greater or lesser extent, plants in well-drained soil receive too little water, and those in poorly-drained soil receive too much.
Tree Planting Tips
Did you know that planting a tree is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make a difference in the world around you? Yes, actually. Trees provide many benefits, including reducing pollution and global warming, preventing water from running off during rainstorms, and reducing energy costs. And planting them is a breeze! You don't need a background in gardening to do this.
All over the country, people are planting trees, from a single Nebraska homeowner who put in a maple in her backyard to 250 Comcast employees who spent their Comcast Cares Day (the largest single-day corporate volunteer event in the country) planting hundreds of trees in communities hit hard by hurricanes, fires, and the Emerald Ash Borer. We'll give you good reasons to sign up with them.
- Planting trees increases biodiversity and helps connect wildlife habitats.
- Trees serve as a natural air filter by capturing and destroying airborne contaminants.
- We harvest the seeds right next to the planting area and use those to grow the seedlings we use.
- Upwards of 80% of the requirement for replanting can be attributed to wildfires.
- One million plus acres of National Forests are in need of regeneration.
- In determining where and what species to plant, the U.S. Forest Service takes climate change into account.
- When trees aren't able to grow back on their own, it's up to humans to plant new ones so that the forest can thrive again.
- Before planting, the United States Forest Service spends one to two years nurturing seedlings in a nursery.
- Plant seeds close to a microsite, a sheltered spot with plenty of room to grow and plenty of shade.
- It takes a skilled arborist less than 10 seconds to plant a tree.
- U.S. Forest Service agents check in on newly planted trees after one, three, and five years.
- In the United States, you can plant a tree for $1 at the National Forest Foundation.
- Millions of Americans benefit from cleaner water sources because to tree planting efforts.
- Riparian areas, or the land along the banks of a river or stream, are ideal places to grow trees and shrubs in order to combat erosion and boost water quality.
- A forest of 100 fully grown trees can clean the air of 53 tonnes of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of pollutants every year.
- Around twelve percent of America's annual carbon emissions are taken in by the country's woods.
- An individual can compensate for their annual 20-ton CO2 footprint by planting 40 trees.
- An estimated one tonne of carbon dioxide will be sequestered by the forest if just two trees are planted today.
- The NFF was able to plant 5 million trees in 2019 with the help of donations from people, organisations, and corporations.
- The National Forest Foundation supported 35 forestry initiatives in 2019, resulting in the reforestation of 18,000 acres over 18 states and the planting of 44 different tree species.
- Trees and forests are strengthened by reforestation to better withstand climate change and natural disasters like wildfire.
- The estimated 160 million annual visitors to the National Forest benefit from reforestation efforts by making the forests more pleasant places to spend time in nature.
- The NFF is the only Congressionally-chartered organisation solely focused on our The National Forest Foundation (NFF) is the only nonprofit with a Congressional charter whose mission is exclusively to protect and preserve America's National Forests.
- We only use native species approved by the United States Forest Service and plant them in areas that have been disturbed by nature.
- Millions of trees are planted year in National Forests around the country, from lowland longleaf pine groves in Florida to high alpine whitebark pine groves in the West.
- More than three thousand species call America's national forests home, and more than four hundred are listed as endangered or critically endangered.
- Only in the most devasted areas, where even seedlings have no chance of survival, do we plant trees.
- Rapid replanting is crucial to minimising soil erosion and protecting the water quality of rivers and lakes downstream of areas hit by destructive wildfires.
- Depending on the climate, tree planting can take place at any time of year. A few initiatives start in January, while others don't get going until October.
- The need for regeneration in National Forests is not limited to fire prevention. As well as facilitating the spread of natural species, our projects help communities bounce back from the devastation caused by pest and disease outbreaks, as well as extreme weather.
Some people think that if we just plant more trees, all of our environmental and societal problems will go away. However, the desired outcomes may only be achieved by meticulous planning and consistent effort over time. There are several ways in which tree planting can improve the quality of your home, neighbourhood, and surrounding area. Most ornamental plants need well-drained soil. Soil compaction is typically an issue in newly developed areas.
Water redistribution can also be useful for arid regions. If new soil needs to be carried into the site during planting season, it is best to wait until everything else is in place first. Tilth and fertility can be improved with the use of soil additives. Soil acidity can be neutralised with dolomitic lime, and soil alkalinity can be lowered with aluminium sulphate or sulphur. Altering soil pH without first doing a soil test can result in nutritional deficits. Don't add more than half an inch of soil on top of the root ball when planting a tree in a container.
A tree's establishment time might be shortened by aerating the soil around its roots. It has been shown that severing root balls helps regeneration roots spread out more evenly in the landscape soil. A sharp pruning tool is needed to remove any roots that are damaged, dead, or have dried out. The term "backfill" describes the soil that is used to fill the area around the root ball of a newly planted tree or shrub.
- It is quite gratifying to plant trees.
- Some people think that if we just plant more trees, all of our environmental and societal problems will go away.
- Sowing Time You can put a container-grown or B&B (burlapped and balled) plant with a good root system in the ground at any time of the year.
- The practise of digging for B&B trees in the winter and putting them in pots in the summer is a recent phenomenon in South Carolina.
- Although you can plant your container plants at any time of year, the best time to do it is in the fall so that the plants can take advantage of the dormant season's root growth.
- Ornamental plants in the milder temperature of the Southeast go dormant during the winter, but their roots continue to grow throughout the year.
- The Process of Preparing Land Remember to account for drainage as you create the final slope of the planting beds.
- That's why it's crucial to fix the drainage issues immediately, before you plant anything.
- If you need to grow plants in a spot that doesn't drain well, put some blocks under each bed to keep them off the ground.
- Most ornamental plants need well-drained soil.
- Make sure the land around a new building is free of rubbish that could stifle plant growth before planting there.
- Soil compaction is typically an issue in newly developed areas.
- A soil sample should be taken a few weeks before planting so that the soil may be properly prepared.
- Soil with a pH between 5.8 and 6.5 is ideal for most ornamental plants.
- It is advised to include organic matter into the soil, but not only in the planting hole but all the way out to where the roots will be growing.
- Adding a soil amendment on a big scale offers a uniform environment in which roots can thrive throughout the entire planting area.
- And yet, even if simply a planting hole is disturbed, the soil structure may end up somewhat different from the surrounding natural soil.
- The water balance between the native soil around the hole and the soil in the hole can be disrupted by specific types of organic amounts and materials.
- When dealing with heavy clay soils, notch the sides of the round planting hole with the shovel or mattock.
- This will facilitate root growth and distribution.
- It is recommended that organic matter make up between 15 and 25 percent of the soil's total volume.
- For an 8-inch-deep bed, for instance, you'll need to incorporate around 2 inches of organic material, such as compost, decomposed pine bark, or leaf mould.
- All trees and shrubs require proper planting depth and regular watering to thrive.
- Planting too deeply or not watering enough are two of the most common and damaging gardening blunders.
- The planting hole should never be deeper than the root ball, especially in well-drained soil.
- What this means is that the soil at the bottom of the hole is not moved or altered in any manner.
- There will be too much root ball loss if you plant the tree's root ball on loosened soil.
- Root ball soil level should be even with the topmost root layers.
- Make sure the soil level isn't too high in relation to the root ball (or container medium).
- Don't add more than half an inch of soil on top of the root ball when planting a tree in a container.
- It is recommended that the planting hole in well-drained soil be at least twice as wide as the root ball, and ideally five times as wide.
- If you live in an area with compacted or poorly drained soil, you should plant your tree or shrub 2 to 4 inches higher than usual.
- Instead of adding dirt on top of the root ball, build up the soil all the way around it.
- The roots will be able to get oxygenated air this way.
- Avoid disturbing the soil beneath the root ball to keep the plant's roots from being driven deeper into the soil as a result of future settling.
- In the summer, some areas can dry up quickly, so be ready to water the top of the root ball more often.
- Root Ball Repair The trees and shrubs in their plastic or other hard-sided containers can be easily unplanted and set into the previously dug holes.
- If a tree or shrub is growing in a pot, cut vertically, 2-3 inches deep, from the top of the root ball to the bottom using a serrated knife or pruning shears.
- Make sure to do this in a few different places across the root ball.
- The root ball and the surrounding roots should be untied by pulling on them.
FAQs About Improving Tree Planting
It also helps recharge ground water supply, prevents transport of chemicals into streams as well as prevents flooding. Its fruits provide food while its fallen leaves also make good compost and improve the quality of soil. Being with nature improves cognitive function, enhances memory and discipline.
Ways to plant more trees this year
- Join an urban tree planting session.
- Support businesses that plant and conserve trees.
- Use your political rights to lobby for tree planting.
- Adopt trees from a tree-planting organization.
- Plant trees with every internet search.
- Donate to a tree-planting charity.
Planting trees can increase the resilience of ecosystems, help minimize climate change effects, and buy people and governments time to adapt to changing conditions. Planting native seedlings in ecologically appropriate areas can also counteract soil and biodiversity loss and improve human well-being.
The Tree Planting Activity aims to raise awareness to the society in the importance of planting and saving trees, express our concern to the environment, and diminish the unfavorable effects of climate change.
The best reforestation practices recommend immediate planting once a forest is cut or destroyed. Thus, tree-felling companies are to restore the balance by planting new trees after logging, according to governmental regulations in many countries.