5a Planting


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5a Planting

  1. 1. Colorado Master Gardener Training Planting Trees
  2. 2. Roots only grow with adequate soil oxygen levels. <ul><li>Tree root systems are typically shallow and widespread. </li></ul><ul><li>Sinker roots follow natural openings into deeper soil. </li></ul><ul><li>Fine roots are present near the soil surface through the entire root system. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Roots only grow with adequate soil oxygen levels. Tap-root 3% of trees have a tap root system. Plate-root * 83% of trees have a lateral root or plate-root system with shallow, spreading roots. Heart-root 15% of trees have a heart-root system where roots grow at a variety of angles.
  4. 5. <ul><li>It’s difficult to predict the root spread of a tree. </li></ul><ul><li>Under Ideal Conditions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>90-95% in top 36” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50% in top 12” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Root spread: 2-3 times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>height or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>canopy spread </li></ul></ul>Where are tree roots?
  5. 6. Where are tree roots?
  6. 7. Based on nursery standards, a field-grown tree’s B&B or spade-dug rootball contains only 5-15% of the fine absorbing roots.
  7. 8. The goal when planting B&B trees is to promote rapid root growth (regeneration) to quickly reduce the water stress imposed by the digging/planting process. <ul><li>Post-planting stress or transplant shock is the stress induced by the reduced root system. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Planting too deeply is a common planting mistake. <ul><li>poor vigor and slow growth result from planting too deep. </li></ul><ul><li>may expend stored energy to develop adventitious roots closer to surface and adventitious shoots along trunk </li></ul>
  9. 11. Dead spruce - planted too deeply
  10. 12. Top primary root should be 1” below soil surface
  11. 13. Height of Soil on Root Ball On a tree planted too deep, wind movement rocking the tree may create a soil gap around the trunk. Note no flare. Top primary root 1” below soil surface Look for root flare
  12. 14. Planting Hole Depth To prevent sinking and tilting, the root ball sits on un-dug (firm) soil.
  13. 15. Planting Hole Depth Top of root ball: 2-3” above original soil grade original soil line new soil line Rootball sits on firm,undisturbed soil. Top spreading root 1” below soil surface
  14. 16. Options: Planting Hole Width <ul><li>The key to planting success is promoting rapid root growth/regeneration. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the soil’s tilth , root growth slows when roots reach the un-dug soil beyond the backfill soil. </li></ul><ul><li>This is due to lower oxygen level in the undisturbed soil. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Options: Planting Hole Width <ul><li>A planting hole only 25% wider than the root ball with vertical sides hinders root re-generation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If the site soil is compacted and difficult to penetrate, the roots may circle inside the hole, just as they often do inside a container. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 18. Volume of Backfill Compared to Root Ball <ul><li>25% wider than root ball </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Backfill 66% of root ball </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 times root ball diameter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Backfill 150% of root ball </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 times root ball diameter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Backfill 400% of root ball </li></ul></ul>
  17. 19. Options: Planting Hole Width <ul><li>A hole three times the diameter of the root ball with sloped sides will allow the root system to grow rapidly to 25% of its original size before being slowed by the poorer quality site soil-- enough to avoid extreme stress under normal conditions. </li></ul>
  18. 20. The Saucer-Shaped Hole If roots have difficulty penetrating compacted site soil, sloped sides allow roots to continue to grow vigorously towards the better soil near the surface rather than being trapped in the planting hole.
  19. 21. Tree Planting Tree sits on undisturbed soil. Backfill hole 2-3 times wider than root ball Top of root ball 2-3” above grade. Top primary root 1” below root ball surface.
  20. 22. Options: Planting Hole Size How wide is adequate? <ul><li>Root growth </li></ul><ul><li>Post planting stress </li></ul><ul><li>Labor costs </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledgeable work crew </li></ul>Profits
  21. 23. Planting on Sandy Soils Plant at original soil line wood chip mulch original soil line
  22. 24. Planting in compacted clay soils Soil ball 1/3 above original soil line original soil line new soil line Cover “knees” bark/wood chip mulch
  23. 27. Planting in compacted clay soils <ul><li>Modified soil around backfill hole </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rototill area around backfill to a total width of 4-5 times root ball diameter . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Radial trenching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4”-6” wide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15”-20” deep </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6 feet long </li></ul></ul>
  24. 29. Planting Bare Root Trees Roots spread on mound of firm soil. Planting depth: Top primary root 1” below soil level 1-2” (level on sandy soils) original soil line Saucer-shaped planting hole 1-2 feet wider than root spread
  25. 30. Planting containerized trees/shrubs <ul><li>Amend backfill 25-33% by volume, or there will likely be soil interface problems. (Container soil mix is peat-lite) </li></ul>
  26. 31. Containerized planting - reduce interface problem
  27. 32. What about potbound rootballs?
  28. 33. Split-Ball technique
  29. 34. Split-Ball technique
  30. 35. Girdling roots are a common problem with container grown trees and when planting in small hole.
  31. 36. On Slopes , Plant “Out of Hill” Planted “In to Hill”
  32. 38. The Old Method of Planting The Big Pit Water runs to crown, leading to root rots As soil settles, tree sinks and tilts.
  33. 39. The Old Method of Planting Gravel Base Gravel in the hole slows drainage due to sudden changes in soil pore size. Blue lines indicate wetting pattern. Gravel
  34. 40. B&B Planting Steps
  35. 41. <ul><li>1. Hole to proper depth and width </li></ul>B&B Planting Steps
  36. 42. <ul><li>2. Set in place </li></ul><ul><li>Orientation </li></ul><ul><li>View </li></ul><ul><li>Inside bud-graft dogleg to shade </li></ul><ul><li>Lowest branches away from street/sidewalk </li></ul><ul><li>Most branches into prevailing winds </li></ul><ul><li>Most branches into shady side </li></ul><ul><li>Bare root: largest roots into prevailing winds </li></ul><ul><li>Vertically straight at top (not necessarily along lower trunk) </li></ul>B&B Planting Steps
  37. 43. <ul><li>3. Pack base. </li></ul>B&B Planting Steps
  38. 44. <ul><li>4. Remove wires, burlap, ties, pots, etc. from upper 12” to 2/3 of soil ball. </li></ul>B&B Planting Steps <ul><li>Leave in place under soil ball </li></ul><ul><li>The decomposition rate of burlap may be slow enough to interfere with root spread. </li></ul><ul><li>Synthetic burlap, fabric grow bags, and nylon twine NEVER decompose. </li></ul><ul><li>Wire lasts 10+ years, and may or may not girdle roots </li></ul>
  39. 45. <ul><li>5. Back fill with similar soil. B&B grown in clay soils means LESS need to amend backfill </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LIGHTLY firm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not stomp or pack tightly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Best to water to settle soil </li></ul></ul>B&B Planting Steps
  40. 46. Amending Backfill Soil <ul><li>On good soils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple studies show that amending the backfill with compost, peat, or top soil DOES NOT have a major impact on plant establishment. </li></ul></ul>
  41. 47. Amending Backfill Soil <ul><li>On poor soil </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Amending the backfill may be helpful, but is it far less important than digging a wide planting hole . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If amending the backfill, add up to 20-30% organic matter (by volume). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydrophilic polymers may also have short term value. CAUTION </li></ul></ul>
  42. 48. <ul><li>6. Water </li></ul><ul><li>7. Final grade </li></ul><ul><li>8. Stake (if needed) </li></ul><ul><li>9. Mulch </li></ul>B&B Planting Steps
  43. 49. Watering A raised ring of soil formed around the edge of the ROOTBALL may be used for basin irrigation .
  44. 50. How often to water?
  45. 51. <ul><li>400% increase in fine root development under mulch compared to grass. </li></ul><ul><li>20% faster top growth on mulched trees. </li></ul><ul><li>Protects trunk from lawnmower damage. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages mycorrhizal growth. </li></ul>Why Mulch?
  46. 53. Mulching Do’s and Don’ts <ul><li>Don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Make mulch volcanoes around tree base. </li></ul><ul><li>Do </li></ul><ul><li>Depth: 3-4” of wood/bark chips </li></ul><ul><li>Width: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6-9 foot wide mulched area is best for 3” caliper trees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2-3 feet protects trunk from lawnmower damage. </li></ul></ul>
  47. 57. Turf-tree conflict <ul><li>Basic incompatibility of trees and turf </li></ul><ul><li>Ideally, provide trees with a generous expanse of mulched, grass-free area </li></ul>
  48. 58. Planting Steps (for best tree growth) <ul><li>1. Hole to desired depth and width </li></ul><ul><li>2. Set in place and orientation </li></ul><ul><li>3. Pack base </li></ul><ul><li>4. Remove wires, burlap, ties, pots, etc. from upper 12” or 2/3 of soil ball </li></ul><ul><li>5. Check for girdling and damaged roots </li></ul><ul><li>6. Backfill </li></ul><ul><li>7. Staking (if needed) </li></ul><ul><li>8. Water </li></ul><ul><li>9. Final soil grade </li></ul><ul><li>10. Mulch </li></ul>
  49. 59. Consequences of Staking <ul><li>Grows taller </li></ul><ul><li>Grows less in trunk caliper near the ground but more near the top support tie </li></ul><ul><li>Produces a decreased or even a reverse trunk taper </li></ul>
  50. 60. Consequences of Staking <ul><li>Develops a smaller root system </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences more wind damage than unstaked trees of equal height </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top is not free to bend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject to more stress per cross-section area unit at the top support point </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Weakest point at 2/3 height of tree </li></ul></ul>
  51. 61. No “hose and wire” staking
  52. 62. Girdled by wire
  53. 64. Consequences of Staking <ul><li>Subject to rubbing and girdling injury from stakes and ties. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In a survey of 10,000 street trees, 90% were damaged by stakes and ties. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develops uneven xylem around the trunk if stake is too close to tree. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep stakes at least 6” from tree, generally 15+” away </li></ul></ul>
  54. 65. Types of Staking: NO STAKING <ul><li>Is the tree staked due to standard practice or need? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correctly planted trees on firm soil generally don’t need staking </li></ul></ul>
  55. 66. Trees > 4” caliper may need guy lines. Try to attach at 8-10” intervals Guy lines at 45 0 angle 4” caliper -- 3’ long stake 8” caliper -- 4’ stakes Deadman at right angle to guy lines Limited movement stimulates root development.
  56. 67. Nice try!
  57. 68. Types of Staking: PROTECTION <ul><li>Orient to prevailing traffic / people flow </li></ul>
  58. 69. Types of Staking: ANCHOR STAKING <ul><li>Holds root ball from excessive movement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful in very windy areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attach low on trunk </li></ul></ul>
  59. 70. Types of Staking: SUPPORT STAKING <ul><li>Floppy trunks won’t stand up </li></ul><ul><li>Attach 6” above point where tree will stand upright. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 3 feet below terminal leader . </li></ul>