Planting a tree is a great way to give back to the environment. You’re doing your part to battle deforestation and create cleaner air. However, when it comes to planting trees, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure the health of your new leafy friend:
Choose a native tree. Make sure the tree you pick naturally does well in your area. While this may seem obvious, it is often overlooked, and more exotic trees can easily be appealing. Marylands native trees include the Balsam Fir, Shortleaf Pine, and White Oak.
Dig a big enough hole. To help your tree plant solid roots, make sure your hole is adequate. The size of the hole you dig will depend on the size of your tree. As a general rule, experts suggest digging a space three times as wide as the tree’s root ball. In terms of depth, aim for the height of the root ball.
Remove the burlap. Many trees come wrapped in burlap and covered in twine. Cut and remove the burlap, or at least bush it down to the bottom of the hole, so your tree’s roots can roam freely.
Backfill, backfill, backfill. If the soil you dug out for your tree is of good quality, then it’s fine to refill your hole with it. Just make sure not to pack soil back into the hole tightly. Loose soil will be easier for your trees roots.
Stake the trunk. To help your tree grow straight and strong, add a stake or two to help it stand. Lodge the stake into the ground and tie it loosely to the trunk.
Avoid fertilizer. There’s no need to fertilize your tree right away. In fact, some experts say this is harmful. Wait up to a year to fertilize your tree. Instead, make sure it’s getting plenty of water – especially the first few weeks after planting.