Every new tree planted helps to protect the global climate. In the garden, trees serve as privacy screens and provide shade, they beautify your own garden and give a rich harvest of fruits or nuts in autumn. Children use them as an adventure playground, adults for relaxation. But what exactly do you have to consider when planting a tree so that you can enjoy it for as long as possible? With a few simple tips, the tree is quick and professional in the ground.
BEST SEASON TO PLANT
You can actually plant a tree all year round – as long as the ground isn’t frozen and you can dig a planting hole. The best time to plant the young tree is in autumn or spring. By digging up in the nursery, each tree divides some roots at the edge of the root ball. These fine roots are largely responsible for the uptake of water and nutrients. The less there are, the less water the tree will absorb from the ground. The tree has no leaves in the spring before the leaves shoot and in the autumn after the leaves have fallen. The advantage is that there is little evaporation from the leaf surface. The loss of fine roots is not as important as in summer, when the tree is leafy and countless liters of water evaporate every day, which has to be replenished from the ground. At the same time, it rains more in spring and autumn than in summer and the temperatures are mostly moderate. So there are a few reasons to find the right time to plant your tree.
PREPARATIONS: RIGHT TREE AND LOCATION
When choosing the right tree species, pay particular attention to which tree is native to your area. Native trees are well adapted to the prevailing climate and will thrive in your garden. Find out what properties the soil has in your garden. Is it particularly loamy, humic or sandy? Does it contain a lot of nutrients or little? These are important criteria for the selection of the tree. Once you have decided on a type of tree, select the location that suits it. Include height, crown diameter and shade tolerance in your considerations. The minimum distance to neighbors is regulated by law, but you should also keep a sufficient distance from other trees and the house wall and avoid problems later. If you are not sure which tree will suit you and your garden, seek advice on the selection at a nursery.
Remember that a tree is also a living being. Make absolutely sure that the roots do not dry out. Always provide the root ball with sufficient water during transport and storage!
STEP 1: PLANTING PIT
When you have selected the right spot that gives your tree enough room to grow and thrive in later years, then the real work begins. Use a spade to dig out the planting pit. The size of the pit depends on the tree you have chosen: it should be about twice the size of the root ball. This means that the newly installed tree will have enough space later to develop and form new roots. The excavated earth is mixed with potting soil and organic fertilizer such as horn shavings (the pit can also be filled with substrate). You then put part of this mixture on the bottom of the pit so that the tree is later at the correct height: not too deep, but so that the root ball is completely covered with earth. Ideally, the tree should be as deep in the ground as it was in the nursery – easy to recognize by the discoloration on the trunk above the root ball.
The planting pit should be about twice as wide as the root ball.
STEP 2: PILE FOR STABILIZATION
Place the tree in the middle of the hole, preferably with the container or root protection. Now position a pole directly next to it in the main wind direction, which will later stabilize the tree. After taking the seedling back out of the pit, hammer the stake firmly into the ground so that it has a good stand. If you drive the stake after the actual tree planting, there is a risk of injuring the tree.
STEP 3: PUT THE TREE IN THE HOLE
Now free the root ball of plastic, linen or other root protection. Before you finally put the tree in the pit, you should slightly cut the roots along the edge of the bale with a knife. By deliberately causing this injury, you are stimulating the roots to stop growing in the shape of the bucket, but rather to actively expand in the new soil. If possible, the roots should also be trimmed with sharp rose shears. Because no spade and no machine are as sharp as a good pair of scissors. This is why the roots cannot always be neatly cut when clearing the tree in the nursery. When you have finally set the tree next to the stake in the center of the planting hole, tip the remaining soil mixture or substrate around the tree into the pit and tread the ground.
Tie the tree securely after planting.
STEP 4: TIE THE TREE
The tree trunk is tied to the post with the help of a coconut rope or a plastic tree tie. Place the rope in figure eight around the tree trunk and the stake and make sure that the tree is well fixed, but that the rope does not constrict the trunk. The branches of the tree must not go too close to the post so that they do not rub against it in the wind. Wounds caused by chafed bark are difficult to overwhelm.
STEP 5: ADEQUATE WATER AND FERTILIZATION
Now use the earth to form a watering edge along the edge of the planting pit and fill the hollow around the tree with water. When the water has drained away, you should again provide additional nutrients and fertilize well. For example, put horn shavings on the filled plant hole. A layer of bark mulch on top protects the soil from drying out. Water all trees in the garden, especially on hot, dry days in summer.
STEP 6: CUT
The last step is the planting pruning, if this has not already been done in the nursery. When you receive the delivery, ask when the last cut was made. Transplanting a tree creates an imbalance between parts above and below ground. Because no matter how carefully you pay attention to the root ball, roots will always be lost when transplanted. The fewer roots, the less water and nutrients get into the crown. In the first few years, the tree reacts with smaller leaves or even lets entire branches die off.
To prevent this, reduce the crown after planting and thus restore the balance between the roots and foliage. The type of pruning depends on the purpose for which you planted the tree. Find out in advance about various pruning techniques such as the training pruning for fruit trees, careful crown clearing for large-crowned trees or the correct planting pruning for street trees. If you are not sure how to cut the tree without damage, get a local arborist. He knows exactly how individual tree species are cut.