Plant and Tree Care Tips
Have you ever heard Fall is for Planting? Fall and winter planting gives roots a chance to settle in during the cooler months, so the tree or plant get a head start on the next growing season and is better prepared for summer’s heat. Generally, mid November to late February is the best time to plant trees in the Houston area. There are several steps that the experts at Texas Growers Nursery recommend when planting or caring for your plants and trees:
- Soil Type
- Water Guidelines
- Dig a hole 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball and slightly shallower. The tree should be planted slightly above the original soil level (this is especially important in heavy clay soils to aid in drainage). When the hole is ready, gently remove tree while lightly pressing against sides of container. If necessary, cut container vertically to dislodge root ball.
- Placing The Tree In The Hole
Set tree gently into hole, lifting by root ball. Tree should be centered and plumb. Cut any circling roots along outer edge of root ball with pruning shears. Hold tree while backfilling around root ball and tamp soil lightly to eliminate air pockets. Large clods should be broken apart before backfilling.
Remove any grass or weeds within a 3′ minimum diameter circle around tree and create a watering saucer. Cover with 3-4″ mulch composed of bark, woodchips compost, pine needles, etc. Do not use fresh grass clippings. See illustration below.
Adequate water is essential at planting time. Place water hose at base of tree and allow water to slowly trickle until soil is saturate
- Care Of Newly Planted Tree
After watering, add mulch to compensate for any settling. If necessary, stake tree to keep upright. Prune dead, diseased and damaged branches. Research has proven that pruning the crown to “compensate for root loss” actually impedes root regeneration and slows establishment. Structural pruning should be delayed until the second year of growth.
“We are encouraging people to plant,” saysMickey Merrit of the Texas Forest Service. “While the drought is very severe, we still think it’s a perfect opportunity to teach people that trees are important and to educate them on the proper way to plant and water.”