Monday, June 8, 2015

Planting Trees At the Right Level

When planting trees, never plant them so high that the upper roots are exposed and susceptible to drying. On the other hand, never bury the trunk by planting too deeply; this can predispose the tree to disease. Some trees like citrus are quite susceptible to trunk or crown rot, while some species of trees are somewhat tolerant. Assuming the tree has originally been planted correctly in the container, maintain this same level.

Although a tree may be planted at the proper soil level,  it may later sink due to settling of the soil. What happens is an overzealous gardener will dig the planting hole deeper than the height of the container. The loosened soil that is put back can eventually settle, drawing the trunk down below the soil level. Essentially the planting hole should be as deep as required to accommodate the plant. The sides of the hole may be larger than the original container.  

When trees are near a sprinkler system, remember that the irrigation water should never be directed to hit the trunk of the tree. Again, some trees like citrus are quit susceptible to fungal diseases that occur when the trunk is wet, while other tree species may tolerate this condition.

Trees planted today may last a lifetime. Take the time to do it correctly!

Photo: Monkeypod tree, also known as Rain Tree (Samanea saman)