We all love our trees. They have a way of becoming a part of our lives that we hold near and dear to our hearts and planting one yourself cultivates a certain level of ownership and care that not many other things do. Make sure that you are setting your tree up to be nurtured as best as possible by avoiding these common planting mistakes!




1. Planting Too Close Together

(Common with RedwoodsThe urge with new landscapes is to plant trees based on current size and needs without factoring in future growth. This mistake is common with redwood trees. When planting redwood trees along a fence or wall to provide a visual barrier, it is easy to group the trees close together to achieve the goals quicker. However, this type of planting can become problematic very quickly.

2. Not Accounting for Root Growth

(Patios, foundations, etc.) Root growth is the most overlooked aspect of tree care that we experience. Our tendency is to look upwards with trees and we end up failing to account for underground root growth. This mistake can be costly if trees with invasive roots are planting close to your home’s foundation or newly installed patio.

3. Improper Use

(The wrong tree for the wrong purpose) When purchasing young trees, be sure to pay attention to the future growth of the tree. It is usually a good idea to do a quick Google search as well to make sure the tree is a good one for you objective. Planting a shade tree or fruit producing tree near a pool may have unintended consequences later down the road.

4. Not Anticipating Mature Tree Size

(i.e. redwoods growing too tall in suburban neighborhoods) Along the same lines, failing to account for the trees mature size may lead to a constant pruning and perhaps even an expensive removal. Even worse, you will have waited all that time for the tree to reach your desired size and then be disappointed once it turns into a liability.

5. Not Considering Fruit Produced

It is easy to think of common fruit trees with this mistake. But there are several trees that produce inedible fruit that can wreak havoc on your yard. High fruit yield will create a large amount of cleanup; especially in the fall when rains make matters even more difficult.

6. Planting Tree Below Finished Grade

It is extremely common for inexperienced landscapers and DIYers to not pay attention to the finish grade. There is a root ball in all trees. It is critical to keep that root ball above the finish grade. Planting the tree too low will essentially suffocate the tree and cause it to die quickly. Also pay attention to ground covers used near the base of the trees that might have the same effect.

7. Waiting to Prune New Trees

In order for new trees to find their way, structurally, they need guidance in the early stages of growth. Without routine pruning in this phase of a young tree’s life, limbs can begin to grow in the incorrect direction, causing potential structural damage to the surrounding area. Un-pruned limbs can also create a lack of definition in the central support of the tree – the trunk. Because new trees soak up such large amounts of sunlight, limbs and branches can grow at rapid rates, making it difficult for the central frame to grow large enough to withstand strong winds and harsh rains. In order to avoid these issues, it is vitally important to identify a natural trunk in your young tree and regularly prune any potentially competing limbs.

There you have it! By avoiding these 7 Top Tree Planting Mistakes, you are steps closer to ensuring that your tree grows beautifully AND safely before it’s even planted. 
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