Reporting Susan Koeppen
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Adding trees to your landscape can help make your home more beautiful, but it involves some careful planning.
In today’s Angie’s List report, here’s what you need to know about selecting and planting a tree.
“Trees are a great asset. They can add up to 15 percent to the value of your home if they are well-maintained,” says Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List. “But when planning and planting, you need to be sure you’re accounting for what they will be like when they are full grown.”
Once you have found the ideal location, it’s time to select a healthy tree.
“The most important thing really is the framework of the tree, the wood part. A good, clean, straight trunk and a good even branching habit,” said Jeff Gatewood, a nursery owner.
Trees are usually sold as bare root or in a root ball or container.
“When it’s in a pot it has its entire root system underneath of it in the pot, whereas a ball one has been cut and dug up out of a field,” says Gatewood. “So it hasn’t got all of its roots by any means and it has to spend the first two years regenerating all of its roots, whereas a tree in a pot immediately can start growing on top where the customer wants to see it grow.”
A common mistake is the planting depth.
The top of the soil in the pots should be exactly level with the soil in your lawn. A tiny bit above won’t hurt, but an inch or two deep can hurt the tree.
“You never want the grass to grow around the trunk of the tree,” adds Gatewood. “Always take out a big circle of sod, four to six feet in diameter, plant the tree in the middle, mulch it.”
When it comes to mulch, do not pile it up along the trunk because the mulch stays moist and that attracts insects and causes rot.
Newly-planted trees should get an inch of water a week.