Transplanting A Young Tree? Avoid These Mistakes To Ensure Its Survival

One of the easiest ways to plant a tree in your yard is to buy a young tree from a garden center and transplant it into your yard. Though this process is pretty straightforward, there is still room for error. Avoid making these mistakes, and you'll increase your tree's chances of survival.

Mistake #1: Digging too narrow of a hole.

In order for your tree to anchor itself into its new home and begin growing, it will need to send out roots. The soil outside of the hole you dig is probably compacted and hard, which will make it tough for the roots to break through. If you only dig the hole as wide as your tree's root ball, the tree wills struggle to send out roots and to grow through this hard soil. Digging the hole about twice as wide as the root ball will make things easier on your tree.

The soft, dug-up soil immediately around the roots will be easy for them to push through. By the time the roots reach the harder soil, the tree will be stronger and more established – and therefore better prepared for the challenge of pushing through this hard soil.

Mistake #2: Piling the soil up too high against the trunk of the tree.

You might think you're packing in your tree and making it more secure by pushing the soil up around the trunk, but this is actually a mistake. Piling the soil up too high will just trap moisture near the trunk, which could perpetuate molding and rot. Only pile the soil up to the spot where the roots meet the trunk. This area usually has a ball shape. Don't pile the soil above this rounded, ball-shaped area. If you scatter mulch around your newly planted tree, it should also not reach above the ball or be piled against the trunk.

Mistake #3: Overwatering the tree.

You do want to apply some water after you've placed the tree in the hole and filled it in. However, you do not then want to keep watering and watering the tree so much that you fully saturate the soil. Soil that is too wet can actually drown your tree's roots and perpetuate rot. Every day after you plant the tree, go outside and scoop up a handful of dirt from near its base. If the dirt is dry and crumbly, water the tree. If the dirt sticks together when you squeeze a handful of it, then it's wet enough already – you don't need to add more water. Contact a tree service like Yarnell Tree Co Inc for more information.