Trees are one of our most valuable assets. They provide shade, energy savings, wildlife habitat, aesthetic beauty and increased property value to our homes, businesses and communities. Here are some tips on tree selection and planting to help prepare your trees for summer.
Start by buying good quality plant stock, preferably trees with low growth along the main trunk. These trees are less susceptible to sunburn. They are also more stable due to better trunk taper. They may not even need staking or guying. Avoid lollipop trees like the two trees in the foreground of the photo. The trees behind them would be a better purchase.
Consider buying native or desert-adapted trees when possible. They normally have a lower profile in the landscape and are less susceptible to wind damage. They also are better adapted to our local soil conditions, native pests and pathogens and other stresses common to the low desert.
Plant trees in groups when possible. They buffer the sun and wind from their neighbor trees.
Minimize pruning after planting. New trees need as much foliage as possible to create the energy reserves for healthy future growth.Avoid removing watersprouts. These are the small shoots growing along the lower trunk and main branches. Watersprouts help their parent branches develop taper needed to support increasing end weight as trees mature. They also shade interior branches and prevent sunburn.
Next up: Prepare Your Tree for Summer Part 2 – Staking and Guying