A planting primer for trees and shrubs

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Perhaps you visit a garden center or look at an online catalog and see various intriguing plants but hesitate to make the buying decision because you're not sure about the correct planting procedure.
Today, we'll look at three ways you can buy plants (from the little guys up to the most majestic of trees) and have a quick primer on how to plant each type. If you still need help, send me an e-mail at snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org
(Note: this column first appeared a couple of years ago. I'm running it again in response to numerous e-mailed questions about how to plant trees and shrubs.)
Potted plants Usually, it's the smaller plants that you can buy in pots, but you'll sometimes find larger shrubs sold that way, and the planting procedure is the same for all of them. First of all, dig a hole approximately twice the width and depth of the container, add some organic matter and refill the hole about halfway with some of the soil. Tap the pot a few times to loosen the plant and it should slide right out. Put it into the hole and gently spread the roots out, being careful not to break them. It's a good tip to seat the plant so it is about an inch higher than it was in the pot to allow for it to settle. If it is sitting too deep, simply lift it out and add a bit more soil underneath it. When it's at the right height, carefully start filling soil in around the plant, adding water every so often to prevent air pockets and to keep the roots nicely moistened. Add a little mulch... stand back and congratulate yourself!
Bare root If you've seen the term "bare root" but aren't quite sure what it is, allow me to explain. Simply, it's a plant, quite often a tree, that comes to you without any soil attached to the roots. Because it has been washed free of soil, there is a greatly reduced chance of carrying soil-bourne diseases to your landscape, and, due to their light weight, they are very easy to handle while planting. If I have some bare roots that I can't plant right away, I discard all the packing materials, lay them on the ground and loosely pile some damp soil or compost over the root ends to keep them moist but protected from frost. For bare root trees, about 4 to 6 hours before planting, uncover the plants and soak the roots in a bucket of water. Bare root perennials need less of a soak; 30 minutes to an hour should be enough.
As with the potted plants, dig a hole that's a bit wider than seems necessary. This allows the delicate young roots to spread without trying to force their way through compacted soil. Place the plant into the hole and hold upright while you fill some of the soil back in around the base. There's usually no need to add any soil amendments at this stage.
Add the rest of the soil around your little tree and press down firmly but don't pack it too tightly. Add a generous amount of water and once that has soaked in, add mulch to a depth of about two inches and a diameter of three feet. Be sure that the mulch is not touching the trunk! For the first year, make a point of watering it every week to ten days, depending on weather conditions.
Balled and burlapped "B and B" plants can be quite bulky and heavy. Always pick up your B and B by the root ball, not the trunk. When you have dug a hole plenty big enough for the root ball, remove any strappings, string or wire. You can do this after you have placed the root ball into the hole if you prefer. Natural burlap need not be completely removed as it is biodegradable. Some landscapers leave all of it on the root ball, while others trim it back, leaving some of it under the plant. Thoroughly soak the root ball with water then begin filling in the soil around the root ball, adding more water as you go. Then simply add a layer of mulch just as you would with a bare root. The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
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http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub1.html
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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--------------4D9ED6BE1628FE9C95E4F168 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
symplastless wrote:

Here you go again pushing your stuff down our throats. I for one am not impressed by your so called credentials and your narrow mindedness. Who do you ever recommend, besides yourself?

<br>> additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed <br>> newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org</blockquote> </html>
--------------4D9ED6BE1628FE9C95E4F168--
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Its the same topic over and over again. Trees are not changing either am I changing. As the same topics arise again and again, the facts stay they same.
As far as pushing you can do a kill file on my stuff if you want. In fact please do. My information is geared for the novice on the list. I have no plans in stopping the providing of sound information. In fact here are some photos which we are starting on trees that should not leave the nursery. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_selecting /
As far as pushing things down your throat, don.t open my post.
CHOW
Who do you ever recommend, besides yourself?
I am not selling a service but providing suggestions based on tree biology to people interested. A couple of things.
1. I recommend www.shigoandtrees.com
2. If you want good quality trees for planting I suggest. http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us /
If you live in NH or the surrounding area I have people there who have studied tree biology that I recommend.
As far as tree problems go I recommend this for starters.
Many tree problems are associated with the following: They are Case Sensitive.
Troubles in the Rhizosphere http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/RHIZO.html
Unhealthy Trees from the Nursery / Improper Planting http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub1.html and Look up "Tree Planting" http://www.treedictionary.com
Improper Mulching - http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/sub3.html and http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/M/ Look up "Mulch"
Improper Pruning http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_pruning Improper Fertilization (See A Touch of Chemistry) http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/shigo/CHEM.html
Tree Farming and Related Problems http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/SOUND / Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Consulting Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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I am starting a section on selecting plants from a nursery. Can you provide some pictures of trees that should not leave the nursery. E.g., the ones for the cull pile. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_selecting /
--
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Any photos on cull quality trees would be helpful. I will add them to the site and give you credit, or, keep you anonymous. here is the site http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/tree_selecting /
The first problem and the most worldwide known problem is improper planting of trees.
Many good people and organizations are telling everybody to plant trees, implying that anybody can plant a tree correctly. I.e., Kings, Queens, Teachers, Preachers, Environmentalist ..... Sad, but true, incorrect planting, and planting the wrong tree in the wrong place have led to serious tree problems worldwide. Low quality, cull pile, trees are leaving the nursery on a regular basis. Yes, we should plant trees. But, first we need to know the correct way to do it and to get that information out to the people.
Starting with healthy trees is something most home owners who go to the store are in the dark. These pictures I have, are trees the nursery recommended? So please, lets help people select healthy trees to plant and provide them with sound information on their care. I have not seen one person on this list recommend the book MODERN ARBORICULTURE. Is that because no body has read it or do they think its not helpful?
No one has recommend the World Wide Pruning Guide. Why? The same reasons? I guess everybody wants to be an expert and push their treatments obtained from who knows where.
Proper planting is an expensive job if done correctly. However, planting cull trees may be cheaper, or you may think you got a good deal. It is really just wasting your money. Time and money spent on selecting healthy trees is not spent in vain if planted correctly and then maintained correctly. Time spent selecting cull quality trees is not only a waste of time but money. It would be wonderful if nursery's had a pamphlet on selecting healthy trees which would be given to the customer.
See article by Ted Williams in Audubon, May, 1991
Incorrect planting procedures, and planting the wrong tree in the wrong place have caused a multitude of tree problems worldwide. Cull quality trees leaving the nursery. It is not only bad that money is wasted for the purchase of the tree, but it is sad when the dignity of the tree is destroyed as it wanes and dies standing tightly bound in place for all to see. This has to be one of the worst injustices humankind has inflicted on nature. Its everywhere you look.
Yes, trees should be planted. They should be planted correctly. Or if correct planting procedures are not known, then trees should be planted under the supervision of a tree care professional who understands how to plant correctly, and who understands the concept of the right tree in the right place. And, after planting, a continuing health care schedule should be maintained. This health treatment plan can be found in MODERN ARBORICULTURE the book.
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/MARBOR.html
--
Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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symplastless wrote:

Here one must assume that a "tree care professional" has credentials to announce his "professionalism". One would assume that the "Professionalism" would include formal study at a collegiate level. We await with abated breath the announcement of your "professional credentials".
Beware a so called tree biologist that has never studied biology.
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Don Staples
You are a perfect example of someone who claims to be a tree expert yet has no understanding of tree biology. Sad! You are a trouble maker. You are the devils advocate.
--
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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symplastless wrote:

Oh, show me where I ever claimed to be an "expert", I am a forester with college degrees.
You are?
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Ah, in this constantly changing world, it is reassuring to know that somethings never change. Excellent work gentlemen.
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
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Billy wrote:

Eh, Billy, could you pass the popcorn this way?
.oO(Waits for "Your Kung fu is old and you must die");
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Billy wrote:

Thank you, always willing to entertain the unwashed masses.
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Between "With Mind" And "With-Out Mind," The pine tree breeze! How do you want us To listen to you in the garden?
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
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You say you are a forester?
What does that mean?
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Don
The only thing I know about forestry is that too often the practicing foresters for the US Forest Service do not communicate well with the US Forest Service researchers. E.g., many timber sales have been carried out in the Allegheny National Forest as if these examples did not exist.
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/jk-79html/index.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/jk-64-html/index.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/ntb102/index.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/ntb182/index.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/ntb191/index.html
http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/hardtoget/jk-53/index.html
Oh well. I like to read this type of stuff. Any suggestions on other docs to read? BTW there are some very good researchers, I.e., that is left after Bush, with the USFS.
--
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John A. Keslick, Jr.
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symplastless wrote:

Ah, still using others work as your own, sad.
Beware a so called tree biologist that has never studied biology.
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symplastless wrote:

Check your "dictionary".
Beware a so called tee biologist that never studied biology.
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- - - - - - - - - -- - Don Staples quotes -
1. "Oh, show me where I ever claimed to be an "expert", I am a forester with college degrees."
2. "You need to read your dictionary and learn the difference between elements and chemicals."
3. "What difference does it make? I will match your BS with my first BS. Now, tell me about John's education, that allows him to be a tree biologist. What ever that is." - - - - - - - - - - -
Don, I have two serious question for you. What is the substrate for the base of the food web in a forest? When I say forest, I mean a highly ordered arrangement of organisms living in, on, and around the ecological stages of trees, in such a highly ordered fashion that it assures high quality survival for all. When I say food I mean a substance that provides and energy source, mostly. A man once asked this question when he was investigating what treatments to carry out on his property which had many ecological stages of trees.
Also what ecological stages of trees do you believe should be removed from a forest and why? I ask you these questions because you claim you have these college degrees and you claim you are a forester. Your email address leads one to think you have knowledge on the management of trees and their associates. Thus suggesting they contact you regarding forest health. So please, use your degrees and address these two questions.
1. What is the substrate for the base of the food web in a forest? 2. What ecological stages of trees do you believe should be removed from a forest and why?
Beware of so called foresters who do not understand the ecological stages of trees with respect to the chemistry between them and their associates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 20:29:31 -0500, "symplastless"

That would be the fungal mat made up primarily of mychorrizae and actinomycetes.
Next question.

Trees should never be removed from the forest, particularly from a climax forest. Sometimes saplings can be removed from dense forests because they sit virtually dormant until neighboring trees fall. This must happen in order to get enough light to begin to grow again.

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You are not Don Staples yet I like your idea.
We really need to legalize commercial hemp for products man requires. No, ifs ands or buts! Its not a choice but a responsibility.
And the substrate is the course woody debris. Which is left behind.
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