Gardening | 3 April 20178 Simple Steps for Planting Trees Share article facebook twitter google pinterest March in Pennsylvania can be tricky for gardeners. March usually brings the start of warmer weather, but it can also bring more snow. This weather may cause a challenge for deciding if you can start planting, or what to start planting. The good news is that March, although unpredictable, is still a good month to start planting. Its also a good month for planting trees. Here are some easy steps to follow when planting trees from Pennsylvania Month-by-Month Gardening. Dig a hole three to five times as wide as the rootball but no deeper than the rootball’s height. Planting on solid ground will ensure the soil doesn’t settle and cause the tree to end up too deep in the ground (one of the leading causes of tree death). Mix the excavated soil with 10 percent compost or similar organic matter (i.e. 1 part compost to 9 parts existing soil). If your soil is reasonably good and not compacted clay or subsoil, skip this. For trees grown in containers, remove the tree from the pot, and fray out the roots, especially if they are circling. It’s okay to disturb or remove some of the soil to do this. Make a few cuts if necessary to free circling roots if you can’t tease them apart with your fingers. For field-dug, balled-and-burlapped trees, set the tree in the hole, and cut off and remove as much of the burlap as you can. Also cut apart or remove wire baskets and any rope or strings tied around the trunk or roots. Set the tree so that its crown (where the trunk flares at the base to transform into the roots) is sitting about 2 inches above grade. Remove or add soil to adjust to this planting depth. Never plant with the crown below grade. There’s no need to line the bottom with stones as once was recommended. Check the plant from all angles to make sure it’s in the ground straight and situated as you like. Backfill halfway with soil, tamp, recheck for straightness, water, then finish backfilling, and tamp again. Cover the ground with 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch or wood chips, and then water again. Staking is not necessary unless you’ve planted a rather large tree with a comparatively small rootball, or if you’ve planted on a slope or in a windy area. If staking is needed, hammer two or three stakes in the ground, and secure the tree with a wide band or strap at chest to shoulder level. Tie securely but not so tight that the tree can’t move at all. Don’t use wire or rope, which can cut into the bark. After no more than one year, the staking should come off. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: The when-to and how-to schedule for growing, caring for, and maintaining your Keystone State garden!Never garden alone! The Month-by-Month Gardening series is the perfect companion to take the guesswork out of gardening. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to have gardening success all year, from January to December. It’s full of the when-to and how-tos of gardening along with richly illustrated step-by-step instructions, so you can garden with confidence. Reap the benefits of the gardening “experiments” and experience by authors Liz Ball and George Weigel. With a fresh look and updated information, Pennsylvania Month-by-Month Gardening includes all the when-to and how-to information that has made these books so popular over the years, presented in a new, easier-to-use format with more full-color photography and the most current information available. Complete with specific advice on growing flowers (both annuals and perennials), bulbs, grasses (both lawn and ornamental), roses, groundcovers, shrubs, trees, and vines, this book is one no garden lover will want to miss! In the winter, certain tasks are needed to plan for and improve the next growing season. And once things really start growing in the spring and summer, you’ll find advice on the best way to get the most beautiful flowers, the lushest lawns, and the sturdiest trees. From planting to watering and fertilizing, and from maintenance to problem solving, Pennsylvania Month-by-Month Gardening shows all levels of gardeners the best practices to grow satisfying and rewarding results. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.