Reforestation: How To Plant Evergreen Trees
Evergreen trees are highly valuable in reforestation efforts due to their strong growth rate, with a healthy evergreen adding about 8 to 16 inches of growth per year. Not only that, but residentially they provide strong windbreaks and screens, as well as preventing your home from having a barren look through the winter. Here are some basic steps to plant your own evergreen trees.
Step 1 – What To Plant
Different types of evergreens will grow better or worse in different areas. If a certain type of evergreen is already growing strong in your area, it’s a safe bet that planting more is going to meet with success. In choosing your species, take a look around your home at your neighbor’s yard and even at local forests to see what types are growing near you. There are also guides on the internet that will help you decide on the perfect evergreen for your zone and soil type.
On top of deciding what species of evergreen to plant, be sure to choose your specific plant based more on its root system, as opposed to how the top growth looks. Healthy roots will promote a healthy tree.
Step 2 – When To Plant
Both fall and spring are good times to do your planting. In the spring, just after the last frost, the cool weather combined with copious amounts of upcoming rain is a good time for planting. Don’t plant during the summer, as the hot, dry weather can cause thermal shock for a newly planted evergreen, unless you can afford the time and money to set up a drip irrigation system for your trees.
The fall has several advantages over the spring. For starters, the tree is already in a dormant state in preparation for the winter, and will need less water and sun than during the spring and summer months. They also have plenty of time to become accustomed to their new environment, while also giving them a bit of a head start in the following spring, because they are already planted when the frost is leaving.
Step 3 – Planting
Once you have your evergreen and the time of year has come, choose a location with good drainage and dig down at least a foot and a half to two feet. Remove all weeds, including their roots, within a wide radius of the tree.
Drive in a short support stake just off center of the hole. Do this before transplanting, as you don’t want to pierce roots with your stake.
Place your tree in the hole. Removing any netting around the roots first if necessary, and refill the rest with excess soil.
Water the area well, cover it with a thick mulch and use tree ties to tie the evergreen off to the stake.
Beyond water and sun, very little is needed. Fertilizer is often unnecessary, and weeds can be controlled with sprays. Animals that may feed on your trees can also be controlled with sprays, poison or traps.
Now that you know the basics, its time to go out and plant some evergreens!