New Advice on Tree Planting to Accelerate Growth of New Trees

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( — October 3, 2018) — There’s no doubt that October is one of the best months of the year for planting deciduous shade trees across nearly all of USA. Tree Top Pros, a tree service company with operations in Tampa, takes a fresh look at how to plant a tree. They debunk questionable planting advice such as deep planting holes and explain why. With more than one in ten trees in our urban forests either dead or dying, radical change in tree care and tree planting is needed.

The company shares a 12 step tree planting checklist so that anyone can plant like a pro, if not better. It’s available here free of charge and without the need to disclose personal details beforehand:

They claim the advice will enhance survivability of newly planted trees by a factor of 5. They also state that trees will grow at least 20% faster and taller each year if their simple advice is followed; most useful when trying to raise a large shade tree.

There is a problem in our yards and urban forests. Tree research published earlier this year (2018) into the urban forest of Tampa, Florida indicated that 11% of all trees in the city were either dead or dying. In the experience of Tree Top Pros, this is a typical health profile of urban forests across cities in Florida and beyond.

But the rate of attrition amongst newly planted trees is much higher. The advice shared will increase survivability of newly planted trees by at least 5-fold. This is because the planting guide directly addresses at least 80% of the known causes of early tree death.

A major cause of young tree deaths is due to unsatisfactory tree planting practices according the Colorado State University (CSU). They say that trees are being planted too deep and often girdling roots are not dealt with at the time of planting. This is causing epidemic rates of death of planted landscape trees in parks and yards as quantified in the separate Tampa City study. In landscape settings, CSU claims that girdling roots of trees alone account for 57% of all untimely deaths.

Roots which tightly circle the root ball develop in two ways. The first is when a seedling tree is kept for too long in a small container. The second is when it is planted in a deep, vertical planting hole which prevents the roots from transitioning into the surrounding soil. As a result, the roots circle around the planting hole rather than spreading out into the tree’s drip line and beyond. Poorly developing roots and girdling roots lead to a slow growth rate; not ideal when the owner wants a nice tall shade tree. In a large number of cases, poor patterns of root development lead to the early death of the tree some 12 to 20 years after planting.

As professional tree removers, Tree Top Pros faces many cases of poorly planted trees that have to be removed.

“Dying examples of trees epitomized by the Colorado State University’s findings are seen every day in our tree removal and tree trimming operations. All too many trees which are ill-suited to the local climate and have been planted in the wrong place also need to be removed. We feel sadness for the owner because it’s like seeing someone that has made a bad investment decision. Instead of that tree growing to be a proud $10,000 specimen, it’s a dead liability and the owner has to start over with a new sapling,” explained Jerome Hallberg of Tree Top Pros.

Another poor tree care practice seen is when soil and/or mulching material has buried the root flare. It is vital that this area of the tree remains above ground. Proper planting can prevent this. Volcano mulching is another widespread cause of tree death even when the tree has been planted properly.

To address these common tree planting mistakes, it makes sense for any tree planting advice to be based on science rather than horticultural tradition alone. Accordingly, Tree Top Pros has published a comprehensive step-by-step guide to planting a shade tree.

The four most important things to remember when planting a tree can be summarized with the LEAF mnemonic:

1. L – Large saucer shaped hole at least 3 times the diameter of the root ball so the roots can grow out of the planting hole more easily; and

2. E – Ensure the root flare remains above grade; and

3. A – A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch will encourage the growth of fine roots by up to 400% as they are not competing with grass and weed roots; and

4. F – Free the Flare! Keep the mulch away from the root flare

Subsequent to planting, watering a young tree becomes important too; not too much and not too little.

The advice can be extended to all trees and shrubs to reduce post-planting stress, increase their survival five-fold and help them flourish and accelerate their growth by 20% per year. The advice refers liberally to Colorado State University research which has been endorsed by various industry bodies such as the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA).

About Tree Top Pros

Tree Top Pros is based in Miami and has operations across all large towns and cities throughout Florida. They provide long term tree care as well as responsive tree services such as:

tree removal here:

tree trimming explained here:

Even though the USDA Forest Service asserts that mature trees can raise the appraised value of a home by up to 10%, Moneysense warn that the same trees must be in good condition before the owner can realize any financial gains. Tree Top Pros is able to keep customers’ trees flourishing.

Property owners can do a lot to ensure their trees are in good condition. They can spot problems as they happen such as tree pest infestation and leaf condition. This is why Tree Top Pros issue free tree care advice every calendar month.