Buying a Tree Isn’t an Impulse Purchase

Tree session

If you drive by a nursery or garden center, you will see all types of trees and shrubs up for sale during this time of year.  Although fall is the best time of year to plant a tree, all the new trees are on display. If you are in the market for a new tree to plant at your home or at the home of a friend, neighbor or relative, do a little research before you go shopping.

3 things to consider when doing your research:

  • What kind of tree do you want to purchase?  Do you want a shade tree, ornamental tree, flowering tree, evergreen tree or a tree that makes a statement. There are numerous websites that will provide you with information on various trees. For a good starting point, try searching “Best trees in (your state)”.
  • What is the eventual size of the tree you are planting? Consider both the eventual height and width of the plant. This will tell you the best location in your yard to plant the tree. You may learn that your tree of choice gets way too large for your back yard.
  • What are the site requirements for the tree? Does it like sun or shade?  Can it handle a wet environment?  Will it be crowded out by other trees?  Will it interfere with any powerlines?  Are there any underground utility lines that need to be located? Call Julie before digging to mark the location of any buried cables.

Once you decide on the species of tree to purchase and where to plant it, you need to consider the following:

  • Will you be able to easily get the tree to where you want to plant it? Most people don‘t own a tree moving cart and a small wagon or even a wheel barrow may not be large or strong enough to move a large balled and burlapped tree more than a couple of feet.  Even trees that are grown in large plastic pots can still be very heavy and difficult to move.
  • Do you have all necessary tools? You will need a shovel, but what about a spade or pick ax. Some soils are hard and may have large rocks that have to be removed. The hole you dig should be about twice as big as the diameter of the ball or pot. Have a place designated to place all the soil that is removed from the hole. You want to reuse the native soil that came from the hole when backfilling the hole, so have it close by. An iron garden rake is also helpful for leveling the soil after you are done planting. You may not use all the soil that came out of the hole, so you need a wheel barrow to move it to another location.

Don’t make buying a new tree an impulse purchase. Do your research and make sure you are buying the best tree for your yard. It will save you time and money in the long run.