First-Time Tree Planting Tips and Tricks for Wichita Homeowners
Updated: Sep 21
Our Landscaping Company Offers a Special Tree-Related Service
Trees add value to your property. Some add shade to help keep your house cooler in the summer. But choosing the right tree and planting it properly makes a huge difference in whether it will successfully grow in your Wichita, KS landscape. Let’s take a look at our favorite tips for tree planting before you grab your shovel and plant just any tree on your property. Our years of expertise in a variety of landscaping services include providing specialty chemical services for trees - and we’re always happy to help you with yours.
Call Before You Dig
Kansas 811 is the underground utility notification center for our state. Calling (or going online) lets utility operators know that you need their facilities to be marked before you dig in your yard. It’s hazardous to dig without having your utility company mark your underground utility lines and pipes, and any damage you cause will be costly to repair out of your own pocket. Be patient after requesting that your utilities are marked. Waiting a couple of extra days is worth it.
Choose the Right Tree for the Location
Native tree species do well in almost any area of your landscape, but it’s still possible to choose the wrong tree. For example, if you don’t have much clearance around the tree when you plant it, you don’t want to plant a sapling that will grow into a massive oak. And if you’re looking for a tree that will provide shade, a small ornamental shouldn’t be your go-to. Planting a tree in the wrong location can cause problems in the future, and once the tree is large, it’ll be hard and expensive to relocate.
Remove Everything from the Tree and Root Ball
After you’ve selected your tree and scouted the perfect location, it’s time to plant. To give your new tree the best chance at life, remove any nursery labels, wires, cords, and root ball containment systems. This includes peat pots or rolled burlap. Doing so ensures your tree doesn’t suffer from a girdled branch and encourages the development of a healthy root system.
Dig a Proper Hole
The proper planting depth for most trees is the root flare, where the roots come out of the trunk. Don’t dig too deeply, or else you’ll need to compact the soil as much as possible and plant high to account for settling. The width of your hole should be three times the diameter of the root ball. Remember to backfill the hole with the same soil that you removed, and avoid including any soil amendments at this time. You should, however, mulch around the tree, in a layer about 4 inches deep, two to three times the diameter of the root ball - basically the same diameter that you dug out. Keep the mulch away from the base of the tree. What if you’re planting a tree in an area that gets a lot of water? Our experts recommend that you plant the root flare two to three inches above grade to start; the water will moisten the soil, and the tree will settle in.
New Trees Need Lots of Water
After you’ve planted your new tree, give it a good, long drink of water. You’ll then need to water it at least once per week for the first season of growth, especially if we’re suffering from a drought or if it’s particularly hot outside. If you opted to mulch around your tree, rely on your organic wood mulch to help maintain moisture around your tree’s root system.
Protect Your Growing Tree
You’ll want to take steps to protect your tree. For example, clearly mark around your small tree so you don’t accidentally hit it while mowing or weed-whacking. Keep pets, like dogs, from using it as a jungle gym or plowing into it as they romp around your yard. You should only stake your tree when absolutely necessary to limit root ball movement - never to immobilize the tree trunk. You’ll find that your tree will establish itself more quickly without a stake, at any rate. A root stimulator or mycorrhizae is good to give a young tree a good jump start; ask a tree professional for details.
Keep Your Trees Healthy with Our ArborJet Injection System
Our Wichita, KS landscaping company is unique in that we also provide an array of chemical services for trees. Although you should still call an arborist for any tree maintenance needs, Meadowlark Landscape & Design can keep your trees healthy between visits. Our ArborJet Injection System addresses insects, disease, soil, and nutrient deficiencies - all things that can threaten the health of your tree if left alone. Our experts can provide year-around applications for systemic pest control to prevent bagworms and other infestations; for iron chlorosis, which causes leaves to yellow because of iron deficiency; and other treatable tree diseases. Just as you’d receive an inoculation or injectable medication, our experts inject treatments directly into your tree. Each treatment and dosage is customized to the tree.
Take Care of Your Wichita, KS Landscaping with Help from Meadowlark
Healthy trees are just one part of your lawn and garden. Count on Meadowlark Landscape & Design to care for the rest, including Wichita landscaping maintenance, lawn sprinkler system installation and care, lawn seeding, aeration, and even hardscaping. To learn more about our array of landscaping services, send us a message online. Be sure to include information about your current lawn and garden and what your goals are. One of our experts will get back to you quickly and visit your property to see firsthand how we can help.