Tree planting tips for successful growth

Green up this spring with a fresh tree from ACE

By Mark Collins - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla - Planting a tree seems as simple as digging a hole, but a few extra steps will ensure long-term successful growth. 

Protect your tree investment by following these steps to give your tree a green strong start.

First, be sure to selecting plants graded by the nursery industry as “Florida No. 1 or better” to help avoid root problems and disease which may be a problem with plants with less quality.

Make sure to dig the hole three times wider than the root ball and keep it’s top about 10 percent above the surrounding soil. Sloping the hole outward to the top directs rainwater toward the roots.

Remember, never pick up trees by the trunk or limbs which can damage young roots. Instead, cut away the container.

Refill the hole with existing soil after completely flooding the hole to remove any air pockets that would allow the roots to dry out.

Backfill with a raised ring of dirt around the tree at the edge of the root ball. Again, this focuses water directly down into the root ball.   

Hold off on fertilizing at planting. This has not been shown to be beneficial and should only be done after a season’s growth.

You may be able to skip pruning unless you notice any dead, dying, broken, or crossing branches which should be removed.

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