Please Don’t Read THOSE Instructions.
Written by: By Luke Volbrecht, Certified Arborist WI-1112A
Hire a Wachtel arborist to properly plant a tree for you, doing so will result in your best chance for a healthy tree. Having a healthier tree will save time and money over the long-term. There you go, this article summarized in less than a paragraph. Keep reading if you’d like more details.
Imagine being a kid again, playing on the beach and your siblings suggest burying you in the sand for fun. While fun at first, you soon realize they aren’t going to uncover you from the heap of sand and are leaving you this way – forever. That is the situation many trees find themselves in and are unable to change it. One of the most important and not widely known pieces of information for properly planting trees is that the root flare (where trunk tissue transitions to root tissue) needs to be at or just above the soil surface. This eliminates almost any chance to develop girdling roots. Unfortunately, this is not always clear and at times little direction is given on how to properly plant a tree from the labeling. The included picture is from a tree at a local “Big box store”, the image does not clearly illustrate this interface of having the root flare above soil surface when planting. Upon further examination I had to dig 4 – 6 inches deep in a 12-inch pot to find the root flare, this was true for 3 out of 3 trees I inspected that day… This condition will predispose many trees to a pre-mature end to their life.
We have an opportunity to change that narrative. Bill Reichenbach, a retired Wachtel Tree Science arborist with previous experience at Johnson’s Nursery and decades of plant knowledge had the mantra “Plant it high, it will thrive. Plant it low, it won’t grow.” This is what we as a company strive for when planting trees. It comes from an understanding of the nature of trees and a science-based approach to properly installing them. If you are interested in properly planting a tree or shrub, please contact us with your goal in mind for a new installation. We can test the soil health prior to planting and then together select a high-quality tree. Proper planting will set your tree on the path for a lifetime of success.