The first step in selecting the correct tree for your home or project is understanding the requirements and conditions of the planting site. Selected trees must be able to tolerate site conditions including wet or dry soils, space limitations, and shade. Tree selection that meets the site’s requirements is one of the most crucial factors influencing initial survival and long-term performance of the tree.
Selecting a tree that is healthy and vigorous is essential. The whole tree must be examined, but special attention must be given to the root ball. Transplantation success is dependent on water absorption capacity and stored carbohydrates, so the condition and amount of the roots in the root ball are noteworthy. Circling roots and improper tree depth are two critical factors that must be avoided. Wounds on selected trees must be minimal to mitigate chances of decay or entry of insects and disease. Alternately overall tree structure is another important aspect when selecting a tree.
Our tree farm vendors have only the highest quality trees for sale. All trees are container-grown, using #1 liners grown in root modifying pots – factors that give each tree a vigorous root system. This, in turn, means more reliable and successful transplants. Through extensive root ball pruning each time the tree is bumped up to a new container, circling and girdling root problems are altogether alleviated. Careful consideration is also taken in ensuring root flair is at or above ground level. Doing all these things helps our trees to have a denser more fibrous root system, which means a healthier and more sustainable tree for you.
Our tree vendors use a wider spacing to grow your trees: 6 ft. on 15’s, 8 ft. on 25’s, 10 ft. on 45’s, 12 ft. on 65’s (gallons) allows for fuller and more developed canopies. The results are beautiful to see: better canopy, better branching development, and thicker trunk caliper. Additionally, they use Best Management Practices in pruning the canopy so that we have a strong straight central leader, no co-dominate branching, and a high-quality crown.
Circling or girdling roots, can choke off vascular tissues of the tree and can lead to decline and even death of the tree. Girdling roots are often associated with planting too deep, limited space or with compacted soil beyond the root ball. Girdling roots can also develop from circling roots in container-grown or containerized trees. Trees with severe circling or girdling roots should not be selected for planting. For minimal circling, upon removal of the container, burlap, and wires, any circling roots must be pruned or straightened out away from the trunk.
Just as important as selecting the right tree, is implementing proper planting techniques. Root growth on the lower portion of the root ball is often reduced due to inadequate soil drainage and aeration. Taking this into account and following ISA guidelines, we dig planting holes two to three times the size of the root ball. The additional space around the root ball with loosened soil allows for the new development of root systems to grow unrestricted and enables the tree to become established more quickly.
One of the most common planting mistakes is planting trees too deeply. Planting a tree too deeply can stress, drown, or suffocate roots and can also enable soil-borne pathogens to enter the trunk. Exposing the root flare of trees in containers or that are balled with burlap, is the first step in planting at the correct level. Along with planting at the correct grade adequate drainage, especially with the widely varying soils of North Texas, must be considered for successful planting. One of the final crucial aspects of proper tree planting is maintaining a regular and effective irrigation schedule to facilitate new root development and establishment.
Root flare is the portion of the tree where the root system transitions from the ground to the base of the trunk. Healthy root flare occurs at the natural grade of the soil, and it is crucial that this level is maintained. The buildup of soil and moisture can be extremely damaging to trunk tissue. Damage to the trunk tissue can cause the tree to lose its ability to utilize food energy for growth, which can lead to decline, poor growth, die-back and even tree death. Lack of root flare occurs when trees are planted too deeply, there is a buildup of soil around existing trees, or during construction. By understanding and proactively treating this issue, excess dirt can be removed through air spading, girdling roots can be pruned, and proper grades for a healthy tree can be established.