Trees are beloved by nearly all of us here in Calgary. The trees that grow the best in and around the city ones such as ash, poplar, aspen, birch, elders, lilacs, crabapples and numerous spruce and fir varieties, are also complex living organisms that require a lot of care and attention. Proper planting methods are essential to ensuring the long-term health of your trees, and if you would like to invest in improving the landscape of your residential or commercial property, consider hiring professionals, such as those at Mirage Landscaping. Mistakes made in selecting, siting and establishing trees can literally grow into seriously expensive long-term problems.
Many trees, whether they start wild or in a nursery pot somewhere, do not make it to maturity. In nature, the tree may have grown in a spot that left it victim to competition, poor soil, a high pest population, or the close proximity of diseased neighbours.
The trees that don’t grow to maturity in landscaped areas in Calgary are usually unintentionally doomed by human error. In a metropolitan area such as ours, you cannot just plant a grafting, acorn, or a randomly picked young tree from a nursery and expect it to thrive without proper planning and care.
The most common correctable tree mistakes made by do-it-yourself arborists are described below.
Through thorough research, you have picked a strong and hardy species that will grow perfectly in that shady corner of your yard. After the first summer of its transplant, though, the young tree’s leaves or needles are prematurely curling and/or falling off. What is likely happening? You may have unsuspectingly planted your new tree into too deep and narrow a hole, placing the most critical part of its root uptake system too far from the surface to receive enough water.
Overwatering and Poor Site Selection
If your young tree is changing to a sickly yellow color, you may have to evaluate whether the tree is becoming waterlogged due to either an overly aggressive watering schedule or poor drainage issues. When water is not draining properly, some of the surrounding plants will also receive too much, and others too little.
Is the side of a younger tree nearest the grass apparently sick or drying out and dying? Since a properly planted younger tree is going to have the majority of its uptake roots only about a foot deep, in the same general soil depth that established grasses and weeds can reach, you may be unintentionally harming your tree with the application of either a broad spectrum herbicide, or nitrogen from grass fertilizer.
Picking The Wrong Tree
The idea of a tree as fully grown is what captures the heart. The green canopy over Calgary landscapes in the summertime provides shade, shelter and oxygen. But buying a tree can be expensive, so try to be practical. You won’t ever see your tree grow into fruition if you fail to take into account several factors before planting.
Do you know the soil composition where you want your trees planted? It’s an important consideration. A conifer that will thrive in acidic soils will fare very poorly in alkaline clay soils. An ash tree will grow well in alkaline soils that would cripple or kill an evergreen, as long as the ash gets plenty of sunlight to help it cope.
Water well after planting, and use fresh mulch to help trap moisture over the root ball.
Planting Too Closely
People will often plant trees close together with idea of them growing to provide a privacy screen and windbreak in the form of a landscape of green. As trees mature, however, even ones of the same species will compete aggressively for resources both above and below the ground.
A tree that cannot get adequate resources will grow very slowly or not at all. Trees packed too closely together are also far more susceptible to both pest infestation and fungal or viral maladies.
If you want your trees selected thoughtfully, carefully sited for their best chance to thrive, and competently planted, contact us at Mirage Landscaping in Calgary and get a no obligation quote on your commercial or residential landscaping needs.