By: Bill Reichenbach, Certified Arborist WI-0188A
Planting trees is one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can undertake. The benefits of trees are many! Planting, nourishing, and watching a tree grow is a very emotionally gratifying experience.
Planting trees the right way insures that your investment thrives and will sustain us in so many ways. At Wachtel, we take great care in using the best techniques when handling and planting trees.
It all starts by obtaining the highest quality, locally grown trees. Choosing healthy vigorous trees with good form pays dividends down the road. Transporting trees properly is another critical step in the process. We typically plant ‘balled and burlapped’ trees which are heavy and can be cumbersome to handle. Having the right equipment to transport and handle the trees from the nursery to the job site insures that the tree is not damaged in the process.
One of the most important steps to insure long-term success is the correct planting depth. We take great care in determining the depth of the root system within the root ball. It is critical to plant the tree with the root flare (where trunk tissue turns to root tissue) at or slightly above existing grade. Many trees languish or die when planted too deep.
Another important step in the planting process is removing the wire basket and burlap surrounding the root ball. This insures that the root system is free of constraints and is able to grow out into surrounding soils. The bottom of the basket is cut prior to placement in the hole. Once the tree is placed in the hole the remaining wire basket and burlap is removed. Removing the burlap and wire basket is a contentious procedure within the ‘green industry’. Most contractors do not go through this more extensive process. It takes more time to plant this way, and one needs the proper tools and training to do it successfully.
When planting, we also incorporate mycorrhizae (beneficial fungi) and root biostimulants with the backfill soil. A light top-dress of compost is placed over the root system as well as the all-important mulch. This emulates the natural forest floor, nourishing the trees root system and conserving soil moisture. Always keep soil and mulch away from the trunk and do not bury the root flare!
These are some of the most important steps we take planting trees. Please keep in mind it is wise to ‘plant the right tree in the right place’. Your Wachtel Certified Arborist is uniquely qualified to help you select the right tree. Moreover, our certified arborists in the field love to plant trees differently – the right way!