The cooler temperatures and soil conditions of fall are prime for aerating lawns, planting grass seeds, and putting down mulch to protect plants. Tree specialists in the Yellowhammer State also believe autumn is the perfect time to prepare a landscape for new trees. Winter is actually the ideal season for planting trees in Alabama, and following these fall tips will help your new trees thrive during the colder months.
4 Ways to Prepare Your Yard for Planting Trees
1. Find the Best Location
Any tree you plant will need an area with regular irrigation that’s at least 20 feet from structures, power lines, and other trees. Research the type of tree you’re planting to determine how much sunlight exposure and what kind of soil conditions it requires. If you’re not sure what soil conditions exist in a particular spot, dig an 18-inch hole and fill it with water. If the hole is empty after a couple of hours, it’s a sign of well-drained soil. If water remains after 24 hours, the earth has poor drainage.
2. Choose Your Trees
Once you’ve evaluated the area where a tree will be planted, you need to research to make sure your chosen tree type will grow successfully in the location. Trees best-suited to well-drained soil include pine trees and Southern magnolias, while bald cypress and pear trees can grow in poor drainage areas. Not sure which tree to plant? A tree specialist can offer guidance.
3. Plant the Tree
When fall is on the cusp of winter, it’s time to install your new tree. If you’re planting trees that are in containers or with roots in a ball, dig a shallow hole that is approximately three times the diameter of the root ball. The root ball should rise at least one inch above ground level. Straighten the tree trunk in the hole and fill the gap gently until the soil is packed around the roots. In some cases, it might be necessary to stake the tree for extra support.
4. Maintain the Area
Once a tree is planted correctly, it’s essential to add mulch for protection. Place mulch 2 to 4 inches deep, spreading it 3 feet wide around the tree. Keep the tree’s base open for drainage and access to oxygen. Regular watering will be necessary, but avoid pruning the tree in its first year. If you worry your tree isn’t growing correctly, consult an arborist or tree specialist for recommendations.
If you need the expert help of a tree specialist any time of the year, the professional arborists at TrimCo Tree Experts in Dothan, AL, offer numerous tree services. Specializing in tree maintenance and lot clearing, their team can monitor the health of your trees and assist with the planting of new ones. Call (334) 791-2087 or visit their website today for more information.