Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is your landscape storm-ready? (Part 2)

Planting Wind Resistant Trees in Your Landscape

Dr. Ed Gilman, Professor of Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, consulting with a resident on wind resistant tree selection.
This week's blog was written by guest blogger Jane Morse.  Jane Morse is the Pinellas County Commercial Horticulture Extension Agent.  This is part two of a three-part series.

After you have selected a tree for your yard and are getting ready to plant it, you need to picture it full grown.  Make sure mature trees will have lots of space, both in the air and in the soil, which gives them a better chance of surviving storms.  Plant smaller trees near homes, power lines and other structures.

All trees need a certain amount of root space based on their mature size.  Trees smaller than 30 feet tall need a soil area of at least 10-by-10 feet and should be at least two feet from paved surfaces.  Medium trees with a height and spread less than 50 feet need at least 20 x 20 feet should be six feet from pavement.  Trees with a height and spread greater than 50 feet need at least a 30-by- 30 foot area and should be 10 feet from pavement.  More space is needed if there is a high water table and the roots have less than a depth of 3 feet for rooting.

When planting for shade it is more important to shade the east and west walls of a house than the roof. Small trees planted fairly close to the house for wall shade will be less hazardous than large trees which can fall on the house.  For more information, see these links: Urban Design for a Wind Resistant Urban Forest and Choosing Suitable Trees for Urban and Suburban Sites.

If you are a do-it-yourself landscaper, dig the hole wide and shallow so that the top 10% of the root ball is above ground level.  The outer inch or so of the root ball should be shaved off to remove all circling roots, and mulch should be applied 3 inches thick and in an area 2 feet in diameter for each inch of tree trunk diameter.  Mulch should come up to the edge of the root ball, but not cover it.  Roots will expand best when there are no soil differences, so it is best to stick with the natural soil and not amend the planting hole.  Establishment takes time and providing enough water is critical to tree survival.  For more detail see this link: Planting Trees and Shrubs.

Next week Part 3: Properly Training Your Trees for Wind Resistance

1 comment:

Tree Service Queens said...

A very good guide to beginning gardeners and arborists. One thing I can't stress enough when teaching about gardening is your placement. Look for whats above, behind, below, and what it could grow to block or overcome. Happy Gardening!

-Oscar Valencia