Five Tree Planting Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Think planting a tree is easy? It may not be quite the breeze you think it is. These five myths are, sadly, extremely common and kill many young trees each year. Avoid arboreal annihilation by figuring out the truth behind these myths.

1. Anyone Can Plant a Tree Correctly

False. In fact, many people just assume they can throw their new tree in a hole and call it a day. This tree planting mistake just means you will have to buy more trees the following year. So instead of asking, “How hard can it be?” and just going at it, take the time to learn the right techniques below.

2. Plant Deep, and Roots Will Grow Deeper

Planting deeper is not the answer. In fact, doing so can actually kill the tree because you bury part of its trunk, which is not meant to go underground. Roots will grow as deep as they need to for the tree to be healthy, presuming you’ve planted your tree in a well-drained area where soil reaches down several feet. The Arbor Day website has a great diagram of how deep containerized trees should be planted; check it out!

3. Before Planting, Prune Living Branches to Balance Crown with Roots

No. Don’t. Please stop. Balancing your tree’s crown is a great thing to do once your tree is established, but you don’t need to do it while planting. It can actually hurt the tree at this stage. Roots are pruned pretty severely to get trees into containers, and matching the crown only makes it harder for the tree to produce the energy it needs (through its leaves) to adjust to its new environment.

4. After Planting, Brace Tree Tightly

If needed, brace loosely and remove as soon as the tree is established. Tight bracing can cause suffocation, girdling, or the tree growing over the brace. Ouch!

5. More Mulch Is Better

More mulch is not better and can even be deadly to the tree, especially when you create “mulch volcanoes,” which encourage rot and insect predation. Instead of piling bark chips or mulch in a hill around the base of the trunk, spread it evenly over a wide area. Here’s a great, quick tutorial if you’re wondering what a good mulch job looks like.

Think you might need some tree help? Get in touch with Premier Tree Solutions — proudly serving the Atlanta area with your tree needs. We specialize in tree removal, trimming, pruning, and more! If you have any questions about pruning or other tree-related questions, give us a call at 404-252-6448 or contact us here.