Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of planting 36 native trees to help restore the woodland areas of my garden and each one of them is coming along just beautifully. Trees and shrubs really add structure to your garden and so much more. They really bring back the character of the area and add an unsurpassed beauty all year long.
Fall just so happens to be the best time to add this same type of beauty to your garden or yard by planting trees and shrubs.
When you are looking for the perfect tree or shrub, look first for native species. If you focus on native trees and shrubs not only will the wildlife be better off, the plant will take less water and effort to get comfortable in your garden.
When planting your shrub or tree, know its maximum height and spread, you can usually find this information on the label. You can always find plant, shrub and tree information at the Home Depot Garden Club website.
Location plays an important part of planting your trees and shrubs successfully. You can plant shrubs in a row to create a screen or a windbreak or in a more natural formation by alternating them. If you are planting shrubs, it is best to plant them in odd numbers (1, 3, 5) so that they are more visually appealing.
If your tree is an ornamental tree, look for a good area that frames your new focal point. You can also plant your larger shade trees on the southern or southwestern side of your home to help protect your home from the summer sun.
Be sure to plant your tree far enough away from houses, sheds, garages, power lines, and other permanent structures so that even when mature, the tree won’t touch. Also be sure to plant it far enough away from other trees or it may grow leaning away from the others, trying to get maximum light.
Also, remember to plant and position your tree or shrub carefully since it will be around for years and its large size makes poor planting procedures and placement a major headache.
You can also plant trees and shrubs in the spring, however autumn is the best time of year because the cooler weather allows the trees and shrubs to take root and get acclimated to their new home. Whenever you plant in the spring, try planting early in the spring and avoid hot, sunny days.
Five easy steps to follow when planting trees and shrubs:
- Before you start digging, call 811 first to check with all of your local utility companies to make sure there are no utility lines underground where you are planning on digging.
- Dig the hole for the tree making it only as deep as the container is tall to prevent the tree from settling below grade. There is no need to amend the soil, although you can add several spadefuls of compost if desired.
- Remove the tree from the container. If the roots are tangled, loosen them with your fingers or by slicing through the outer roots with a trowel.
- Position the root ball in the hole. Use the handle of the spade to make sure the soil level around the tree will be the same as the soil level in the container once you fill in.
- Mound the soil around the tree to create a moat to hold water. Water well, and allow it to soak in. Repeat two, three, or even four times. Finish off with a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch (mulching and watering are critical steps in the success of any new planting!!)
Visit The Home Depot or our online Garden Center for everything you need for your fall planting.