The Q&A Archives: Time to plant trees

Question: We live outside of Denver Colorado. We have planted several trees since moving out in the rural area. It used to be farm land & we've built on it. I'd like to plant trees, but over the last 3 years, everytime I plant (in the spring) they have died. When is the best time to plant in this area & how to take care of them. I'm doing something wrong. PLease help. We need shade! Thank You

Answer: Spring really is the best time to plant trees in your region. If your trees are not surviving, perhaps we should review the steps necessary to ensure success. First, dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the nursery container. The goal is to plant the trees at the same soil level as they were growing in the pot. Too deep and they'll suffocate, not deep enough and the roots will dry out.

After digging the hole and checking to make sure the size is right by setting the pot into the hole, gently lay the tree on its side and slide the pot off the root system. Loosen the roots slightly and set the rootmass into the hole. Back fill with native soil and tamp it down, then water thoroughly to help settle the soil and eliminate air pockets around the roots.

The most important thing to do for newly planted trees is to water them deeply once a week during the growing season so they can establish their roots. You can build a watering basin around each tree by mounding up a few inches of soil in a circle about 12" away from the trunk of the tree. Fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill it a second time. This method of watering concentrates the water over the roots and allows it to trickle down and wet the entire root mass. Once a week is about all your new trees will require.

Hope this information helps!

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