Fall is finally here, and you may find yourself taking advantage of the cooler temperatures by planting trees and shrubs. The cooler weather allows their root systems to develop and get established so that the tree or shrub can take full advantage of springtime growth. This more established root system is better prepared for next summer’s heat.
Take Care of Texas provides the following planting tips:
- Select the right species for your location. Pick one that will grow well in your part of the state and make sure it has plenty of room to grow.
- Dig a hole two to three times wider, but no deeper, than the root ball. Plant the tree or shrub slightly higher than the surrounding soil to allow for settling and increased soil drainage.
- Handle the plant by the root ball, not by the trunk. Remove the plant from the container. Carefully place the tree or shrub in the hole.
- Backfill the hole, using only the soil removed from the hole; do not use soil amendments. Water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.
- Do not fertilize your tree or shrub after planting. Wait until early in the spring, and even then, go lightly because fertilizer may burn and injure the roots.
- Soak the root ball and surrounding soil. After planting, water thoroughly every seven to 10 days. More frequent watering may encourage root rot.
- Add four to six inches of mulch around the base to help conserve soil moisture.
When you plant trees and shrubs, it’s good for the environment and saves money. They increase property value, provide shade, reduce energy bills, and help keep the air clean. To learn more, visit TakeCareOfTexas.org.