Generally speaking, trees are separated into two separate categories which are long lived and short lived. If you are just planning on adding some temporary shade for your home or garden, ideally you should stick to a short lived tree. But if you plan on keeping it for years, go for a long lived tree. In most instances a long lived tree seems like a better option, as it will provide shade for many years to come, and will not require removal and replacement if you decide to use short lived trees and change your mind.
If you decide on planting a short lived plant or tree, you are probably looking for something with speedy growth. This can create issues because it means that the root system will be particularly aggressive, so be sure not to plant them near septic tanks, plumbing pipes, or any other deep rooted plants or trees. If the root system has plenty of room to grow, then they will shoot out extremely fast and your tree will literally expand in growth rapidly. The placement needs to be based on its relative position to the area in which you desire your shade tree to cover. Generally speaking, as logic dictates you should keep it to the western or southern sides for maximum shading.
You can begin by preparing your soil, which should be maximized for the shade trees, in that it can be the best way to enhance the speed of growth for them. The bigger the size of the hole you dig for the root ball, the better. Another important point to remember is that when you dig out the soil from the root hole, you should also work it over well before you replace it, in that you break it up good. This will allow for the roots to penetrate through the soil faster and better. If you mix in all your fertilizer and nutrients to the soil before you replace it, you will end up with vastly superior shade trees. Another important thing about planting to point out is that you should try to use organic materials as mulch. Bark and any branches or twigs will work well for this, and will encourage the rapid growth.
Standard guidelines to follow when digging and planting your shade tree are as follows:
A) Remember to first call before you dig. Most communities have diggers hot lines that you should contact before digging. This will inform them of your need to find the underground utilities in your yard so you won’t accidentally hit and underground wire or pipe and potentially risk you life.
B) Handle the new tree with love and care, Only use the root ball to lift it up, and keep the roots well moisturized until it is planted.
C) Again, the size of the hole does matter! Most guidelines recommend digging a hole with a diameter 2 to 5 times as that of the root ball with the sides of the hole in a slope fashion.
D) Proper depth of the hole is also very important to consider. As a reminder, the flare of the trunk of the tree should be elevated only slightly above the surrounding ground level.
E) Reuse the soil you dug out of the hole if possible, and don’t use it if it contains all clay. Also replace the soil without compressing it too much, as this can make it more difficult for the root system to expand. Also remember to thoroughly prepare the soil by chopping it up well so it is loose, and fertilizing it so it is ready to go from the start and set up to win!
F) Use organic mulch around the base of the tree planting area, with approximately two to three inches of mulch. Be sure that you keep an area of one to two inches around the immediate trunk of the tree clear though, do not use mulch in this area. Immediately after you have planted it, you should give the tree its first watering before putting the layer of mulch on.
When you go out to purchase your new shade tree, it typically comes with the root ball balled up and wrapped in a burlap bag. You may also find that it might also have been grown in a container or simply with bare roots. If you get a tree in a burlap bag, the optimum planting times that you should plant it range anywhere between fall and early spring. Shade trees which are grown in containers are fine to plant at almost any time of the year. If the tree comes with only bare roots, then the ideal planting time is anytime in winter months and early spring time. If you decide to purchase a shade tree that comes in a container, before buying make sure that the roots are not being restricted by the container. If this occurs, it will usually cause the roots to go in circles underground after it has been planted. During the time after you have bought it and before you have planted it, again, make sure that the soil is always moist, so be sure to constantly check, and/or add moisture to it.
During the first segment of your new shade trees life, you should always use nitrogen fertilizer. For best results it is always best to simply follow the instructions on the label in order to find out exactly how much to apply and when you need to apply it. Never ever over apply the fertilizer while the new shade tree is still young. You should usually wait until it has been established for about a minimum of one year before increasing fertilizer amounts. Again, consult the fertilizer label for proper dispersion size and timings. Another important point to consider is that for the fertilizer that you do add, is also should be sufficiently watered down.
If you are trying to grow your new shade tree more rapidly, there are many more things that you may need to consider as well, but for most new tree owners, these guidelines will be more than sufficient in helping you to create the perfect environment for the tree to spring right up and provide you with plenty of protection from the sun within months.
We hope that the How To For Growing Shade Trees helps you in your quest and need for a shade tree!