Whenever you take on the project of planting saplings, you need to consider the root configuration. Commonly, young trees come with bare, containerized, and balled and burlapped roots. For containerized roots, keep the following tips in mind:
- Don’t Use Fertilizer: It may be tempting to use growth agents from the start, but chemicals, potting soils and fertilizers could actually kill your young plant.
- Remove Container: Before you put the oak in the ground, you need to remove the container. Tap the outside of the container to help loosen the edge without breaking up the soil around the roots.
- Check for Root-Bound: Some containerized saplings become root-bound, which means their roots start to circle in on each other. If your tree has this problem, you need to cut an X along the bottom and four vertical slices along the sides of the roots.
- Dig a Proper Hole: Your hole should be deep enough that the root collar will be level with the soil. Sloping sides encourage proper growth. The width of the hole should be about three or four times larger than the container.
- Remove Labels: If your tree has any labels, be sure to remove them to allow the best growth possible.
- Add Water: Creating a basin around the young plant will give your roots a chance to soak up as much water as possible.
- Use Mulch: After the initial water has soaked in, apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the tree. Consider creating a circle with a 3-foot diameter, but avoid touching the trunk of the sapling with the mulch.
- Trim the Plant: Finally, you may need to do some tree trimming of any dead or broken branches once the sapling is in place.
Planting a fir or pine can be challenging. If you have any questions or concerns, consider hiring a tree service in the Beavercreek, Ohio, area.