By Gayl Navarro • Photos by Tera Miller
Nationally, Arbor Day is observed on the last Friday of April, although individual communities may celebrate on different days. The celebration began in Nebraska in 1872 and is now observed in all 50 states, and in fact, around the globe!
Trees are a valuable resource for sustaining life on this little blue marble of ours. They give us oxygen, food, lumber, housing for animals, they clean the air and are critical in holding off global warming. That’s quite an important job, huh?Nationally, Arbor Day is observed on the last Friday of April, although individual communities may celebrate on different days. The celebration began in Nebraska in 1872 and is now observed in all 50 states, and, in fact, around the globe!
So why not celebrate that quiet king of the forest by planting your own oxygen factory right in your yard? I’m here to tell you all about how to successfully do it!
Trees are sold to homeowners in three different forms; bare root, containerized and Balled and Burlap. All three are basically planted in the same manner, and here’s how:
You have a tree and you find a place in the yard that gets at least six hours of sun a day.
You make sure there are no power lines in the vicinity of the future tree crown (top). Make sure your new tree has plenty of room to grow without crowding your house or other buildings. “Right tree, right place!”
You’ll call Dig-Rite if you are planting a Balled and Burlap tree or if you think there are buried cable, gas or electric lines where you want to dig.
You dig a hole that is twice as wide as your tree roots, container size or root ball, but not quite as deep.
You’ll find the root flare of the tree; loosen roots (in the case of a container tree) and place that tree in the hole with the root flare a little ABOVE ground level. (If you’re planting a Balled and Burlap tree, you’ll need equipment to set your tree.)
You’ll backfill the hole you just set the tree in with the same soil you dug out of it. No need to amend the soil, please. You’ll tamp the soil down, making sure there are no air pockets in the hole.
You’re going to water that tree in that hole really well. And, you’re going to want to use root stimulator to help ease the transplant shock for that tree. If your tree is planted in a windy area, you may want to stake it, but only for one year.
Now, you’ll want to mulch that tree to help keep the soil you just dug up from drying out quickly and to keep grass and weeds away. Mulch is also useful to keep mowers and weed eaters away.
That precious tree will need to be watered faithfully for at least the first year so the roots can get established. Apply your handy root stimulator once a month if you want to be really successful!
Now, don’t you feel good about yourself? You’ve just done your part to slow global warming and have given a gift to the generations to come.
You’re always welcome to direct your tree questions to us out here at Ozark Nursery. We’re glad to help you succeed.