TREE TIME!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: April 17, 2024

Spring is the perfect time to plant a tree. You can add a tree to your personal landscape or get permission to add a tree to a park or public space. Trees can be a memorial, add diversity, help provide food for wildlife, or shade watersheds. 

There’s lots of great reasons to plant a tree.

What kind of tree should you plant? Evergreens, fruit trees, shade trees? Decide what the need is and select accordingly. Look at your region’s planting and growing limitations and select what will be most successful in your area. 

Also consider what tree is closest to your deck. A berry/cherry tree will attract birds that will eat the fruit and defecate all over your chairs and tables. Deciduous trees drop leaves in the Fall and can fill your egresses and gardens. Thorned trees can make great barriers but not near your living spaces. 

Where do you plant trees? Light and water are limiting factors. Consider how close to buildings, buried power lines, and walk/roadways. That small tree will grow into a big tree. If you do not know where the plumbing and power lines are, have the area surveyed. Communities offer this service for free. 

What is the purpose of the tree? If you plant apple trees, cross pollination is something to consider. Memorial trees may be best planted where they are more visible. Trees along a fence line/hedgerow provide wildlife cover or barriers for sun/wind. Different trees offer better solutions for certain uses. Some trees offer great erosion protection, others provide privacy. Evergreens create a visible barrier year around. Deciduous trees are seasonal. 

How do you plant a tree? Make sure the tree is planted to its natural depth. Lots of folks plant their trees too shallow. The ground is hard and rocky, so they make a shallow hole. Ultimately these trees will die and have shallow roots that can break sidewalks or other features. Local plant shops offer advice and instruction. You can also have a company do the work for you, especially if you are planting a large tree. 

Where do you get a tree?    Just because a tree is sold at your local greenhouse /store does not mean it will survive your area. Local greenhouses will offer more regional solutions. Consider getting trees without soil/pots. These “Bare Root “trees are easier to plant and available now. 

How long do you want the tree?   Trees live for shorter or longer periods of time. An oak may last a century where a Poplar grows fast and may need to be trimmed or cut down in a few decades. Pine trees grow tall and take up more space, as they get large, they may encroach on your home, pathways, or open space. This means serious pruning or removal. Communities also have covenants that require certain species to be planted. 

Trees are a long-term commitment and investment. They can turn your yard into a park-like area by providing shade and a habitat for wildlife. Birds will move into these wonderful habitats. You will need to monitor and care for them. I planted some trees that help shade where we lounge on the deck and soak in our spa. Other fruit trees are near the vegetable garden for more pollination and shade. 

Plant your roots now!

Montana Grant

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