Got Nature? Blog

Lindsey Purcell sharing tree planting tips at outside workshop. Purdue Landscape Report receives TEAM award.Spring is almost here and we get to wave goodbye to winter.  Temperatures are rising, the winds are blowing, and trees are waking up—one of the hot topics every spring is planting.  If you missed the chance to get a tree or two (or many more) in the ground this past autumn, then now is the time to start thinking about it again.  Look at your planting spaces to see what kind of tree would do well.  Think about the tree going in the ground now vs 10 years from now, 30 years, or even 50 years.  Will a full-size oak fit in your space or will a smaller redbud work better?  Do you have poorly drained soil where a willow or bald cypress will enjoy the excess water or well-drained soil that an American beech or black gum might fare better? Think about what you might want growing in your portion of the ecosystem.  Are you looking for spring flowers, shade in the summer, color in the fall, or even different bark types and branch architecture for the winter?  Also, once you’ve made your decision and got your new tree make sure you plant it properly to ensure a long happy life and lots of enjoyment.

Don’t forget about the trees you already have in the ground, too.  One simple act that you can do to help them out is to re-mulch your current trees.  Mulching helps to regulate soil moisture and temperature for the roots of your trees.  Grab a rake and work last year’s mulch into the ground a little, then apply enough new mulch to have about a 2–3-inch layer around your tree.  Depending on the size of your tree you might need to have a larger mulch ring, but aim for at least a 3-foot diameter, and DO NOT mulch up to the trunk.  This is volcano mulching and creates an area of decay in the trunk that can lead to failure.  Leave a 2-3-inch ring between the trunk and the mulch.

For more spring tree tips check out the Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) “YouTube Shorts” video, Ben McCallister Offers Spring Tree Tips

If you have any questions about these topics, please check out the links provided on tree selection, planting, and mulching.

The Purdue Landscape Report
Tree Installation, The Education Store
Choosing a Tree video, The Education Store
Planting Your Tree video, The Education Store
Mechanical Damage to Trees, The Education Store
Re-Mulch Your Trees, Purdue Landscape Report
Planting Your Tree Part 1: Choosing Your Tree, Purdue Extension YouTube Channel
Summer Tree Care, Purdue Landscape Report
Tree Defect Identification, The Education Store
Tree Wound and Healing, Got Nature? Blog, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store
Shrubs and Woody Vines of Indiana and the Midwest, The Education Store
Ask an Expert: Tree Selection and Planting, Purdue Extension-Forestry & Natural Resources (FNR) YouTube playlist
ID That Tree, Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube playlist
Subscribe – Purdue Extension-FNR YouTube Channel

Ben McCallister, Urban Forestry Specialist
Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources


Got Nature?