Trees are good for the environment, effortlessly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your garden, provide valuable shade from the sun’s rays, and can even be considered a form of flood defense, so adding a tree to your garden is always going to be a good choice. However, if you have never planted or cared for a tree before, trees can seem almost intimidating – they are larger, and grow more slowly, than standard plants, so nurturing a tree can feel a little bit like a voyage into the unknown.
Nevertheless, the benefits of planting a tree cannot be denied, and if you want to give it a try regardless, here’s a few starting points that can help you on your way…
Selecting the right tree
- Most people tend to choose a tree based on the specific benefits it can offer; for example, some like to be able to harvest fruit, so will choose a tree accordingly. For others, a beautiful canopy or stunningly-colored leaves in the fall are the priority. Pinpointing exactly what you have in mind will narrow down the list of options and should make it easier to choose which tree is right for you.
- Space is always an important consideration when it comes to selecting the type of tree you want – some types of trees are simply too large to plant in the average backyard. However, even if you have a relatively small garden, you can still plant trees – just focus your search towards dwarf varieties.
Planting your tree
- Experts generally consider it preferable to plant trees during the dormant season, which runs from late fall to the start of spring. It’s helpful to check specific guidelines for planting your chosen species of tree to make sure you can get the timing absolutely right.
- Trees should always be planted a good distance from your house as the root system will spread significantly; roots can actually grow outwards up to three times a tree’s height. It’s also important to think about how roots may impact hard landscaping features such as patios and driveways – large root systems are more than capable of lifting slabs and stones, so trees will need to be positioned a good distance away from such features.
Caring for your young tree
- It’s generally well-known that larger trees need to be trimmed in order to maintain good health, but it’s also important for saplings. Trimming helps to shape a tree and ensure that its branches grow as intended, so contact a tree trimming expert to help care for your tree during its early years.
- When mature, most trees will not need watering – but when young, trees tend to need to be watered just as you would any other plant or shrub. You may also need to continue watering even when your tree matures if you live in an arid climate or experience drought conditions.
Trees are a fantastic addition to any garden, and hopefully, with the above starter guide, you can add a tree to your garden and look forward to caring for it for many years to come.