Parks & Recreation

Selecting & Planting Tree Tips

Congratulations to Washington City for receiving the 2018 Tree USA award! This is the fifth consecutive year that the Parks Division has been recognized for this accomplishment. The Washington City Shade Tree Board meets quarterly, the Parks Division has taken a vested interest in the trees in our city.

Some helpful hints for selecting trees for your yard are as follows:

1. Know the mature size of the tree relative to the given space.

2. Know the shape characteristics of the tree. For example, low branching, multi-trunked, etc.

3. Give adequate clearance to roof eaves, utilities above and below ground, walkways and driveways.

4. Know the water requirements of the tree before determining location.

5. In groupings, create diversity of species to provide year-round interest.

The following is a list of helpful hints for planting new trees in your yard:

1. Dig the hole twice as wide and several inches deeper than the root ball of the tree.

2. Reserve the displaced soil, removing rocks.

3. Fill the hole with water. If it drains within 2 hours, proceed. If not, dig a chimney tunnel at the base of the hole to break through to a more porous level.

4. Mix your reserved soil with a planting mix or mulch at a rate of two parts native soil to one part amendment. Set aside a portion of the reserved native top soil to build a raised ring for deep watering. Soil sulfur mixed in at this time helps neutralize alkaline soils.

5. Place enough amended soil in the bottom of the hole so that when the rootball is set on it, the top is about 1/2 inch above the surrounding surface level.

6. Set the root ball and also any stakes you will be using to support the tree. Fill the hole with soil tamping lightly as you go.

7. Build a 4 inch high ring of soil up around the tree, about 1 1/2 feet from trunk. Fill with water. Let settle, and add additional soil to compensate. DO NOT mound soil up above the level of the root ball, or you will kill your tree.

Remember, people who plant trees become healthier, better looking, richer and have more friends. Well that might be stretching it a bit, but plant a tree and find out!


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