Earth Day (April 22nd) is more then just picking up garbage should be all year round. So, what better way to celebrate and spread awareness about Earth Day then getting a little dirty and planting a tree to beautify your yard or neighborhood. Tree's not only make our world a beautiful place but helps to keep the air clean. Here are some tips on how to properly plant a tree for your Earth Day tree planting ceremony.
1. A tree for all seasons. Choose a tree to plant that is appropriate for the soil, weather and seasonal conditions you live in.
2. Purchase container grown or balled-and-burlapped trees (clump of soil around its roots) with the roots already developed.
3. Stay cool. Keep your tree in a cool, shady place and roots moistened until you are ready to plant.
4. Bond over tree planting. Gather a crew of friends and family to help with the tree planting. You, will be glad you did once you start digging the hole and if you go with a mammoth size tree then you are gonna need help lifting so you don't break your back. Looks can be deceiving, balled tree roots are much heavier than you'd think.
5. X Marks the Spot! Pick the perfect place in your yard or garden where your tree will call home and calculate the size hole you will need dug. If you are unsure, always play it safe and measure the root ball and plan on digging a hole 6 inches wider and deeper than then the root ball.
6. Ready set dig! It important to use all your muscle power to dig the hole. Aren't you glad you took our advice and asked for help. :)
7. Create a bed. Use some of the soil you dig out to make a little bed for the base of the root ball in the hole. Make sure to tamp the bed of soil down hard.
8. Get in position and begin to lower the covered balled root into the hole. Position the tree so that the top of the root ball sits just under the ground when it's level. Make sure not to plant the root ball to deep.
9. Place the tree root ball on the base you made in the bottom of the planting hole. A firm foundation or base is the key to preventing the tree from sinking and sliding.
10. Before burying the roots make sure to remove any synthetic wrappings or fastenings from the root ball. Cut back the natural burlap and twine around the sides of the root ball.
11. Filler up! Start filling the hole halfway with soil, tamp it lightly to remove any air pockets. Good posture is important, even for a tree so make sure it is standing up right and not toppling over.
12. Although your nose might disagree it is a good idea to add some composting, manure smelling, rotten goodness to the soil you're returning to the hole. Add one part organic material to two parts soil. Nutrients + richer soil = happy tree.
13. Get out the watering hose. Insert a hose into the backfill to water the tree. Saturate the soil around the tree until it settles and removes any remaining air pockets.
14. Now back to filling the hole with dirt and water until the soil settles.
15. Give your tree training wheels to grow by using a stake and flat tree straps (made of soft materials) for added stability. Make sure the straps allow enough slack for some swaying in the wind, one of life's simple pleasures.
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