Cardinal Rules for Planting Trees

Cardinal Rules for Planting Trees

Sizes and Sites:  Do not plant large maturing trees near power lines or
buildings but at least ten
feet away from the latter.  Similarly, another site to avoid is a runway
for an airport.  Inevitably,
later you would have to top (mutilate) them, an unnecessary waste of
time and money.
You will also avoid a fight with the Utilities who may see fit to remove
a mature healthy tree to
"maintain uninterrupted service".  In the Philadelphia area ,
fortunately, they are doing a fine job
with their 'natural directional pruning'.
In the city, also, consider that trees planted too deep and with less
than eight feet between curb
and sidewalk tend to crack the sidewalk.  Make sure you know the space
required for the roots
of the tree to be planted.  (Ref. John Collins, Temple University,
Ambler , PA.)

A particular tree that was once commonly seen in open spaces is the
Weeping Beech.  Planted
in open spaces and left alone, the lower branches will come down,
knuckle the ground and then
go up again.  Single trees are aesthetically pleasing just as clusters
are which have the added
benefit of low maintenance costs since they tend to help each other. 
And at the edges you
could plant wild flowers.

Would you believe that old rotten logs can actually enhance the
landscape?  They act as big
sponges, provide moisture during dry spells and flowers and ferns
planted in them can look very

It is important to check the roots before buying a tree or a shrub. If
only a few roots are crushed
prune them straight across with a sharp tool  (as if cutting a garden
hose).  Do not plant trees
with many wounds or damaged branches or with V-crotches.

Remember, You want to prepare a PLANTING SITE , not just a hole.  Form a
dish-like area,
loosen the soil and remove the grass far beyond the drip line.  It will
be harmful to do it after the
tree has  taken roots.  But to repeat, trees and grass don't grow well
together.  Leave room for
future growth.  Another point to remember is, as studies at the State U.
of North Carolina have
shown, that there is no need to fertilize at planting time and don't
overdose in the future with
Nitrogen.  Plant the tree at the depth where the roots are coming off
and not where the burlap
is. Do not prune the crown to balance it with the roots.  Brace only if
the tree will not remain
upright in a moderate wind.  DO NOT USE WIRE IN A HOSE, but brace with
(we provide free samples).  Mulch with composted materials about 3-4"
thick out to the drip line. 
Avoid touching the tree trunk with composted materials.  Do not use
fresh chips.  Keep the soil
moist to the depth of the roots, out the drip line but not water
logged.  Prune dead and decaying
branches, but wait for the second growing season for shaping and organic



John A. Keslick Jr.              If you are not OUTRAGED you're not  
Tree Anatomist & Tree Biologist                   paying attention.
Phone: 610-696-5353                    Support ORGANIC FARMERS.
organic tree treatment web site: 
http://www.ccil.org/~treeman/  OR  http://www.ccil.org/~kenm/env/