Choosing a Healthy Tree for Planting
Good tree care begins with making sure that you plant a healthy tree to plant to
begin with. Here are some great tips to help you buy healthy trees to begin
What to Look for When Buying a New Tree
Inspect your tree carefully at the nursery before making the final purchase or upon
delivery, because this will help you ensure you have a tree that’s going to
last a lifetime. Look for:
Bare root trees
- There should be abundant root growth, numerous small roots, and good color.
- The roots of deciduous seedlings should be equal to stem length.
- Roots should be moist and fibrous.
Balled and bur lapped trees
- There should be a firm soil ball, and the trunk should be securely tied.
- Never buy a tree that has a broken ball or that has circling roots at the trunk’s base.
- When you carry B&B trees it should be by the soil ball, not the trunk or branches.
- The root ball near the trunk needs to be firm to touch.
- The root ball should be big enough for the size of the tree.
- Don’t purchase trees that have become “root-bound” in the container.
- Roots that circle around the container edge could become circling roots.
- These circling roots need to be cut when planting. B&B trees are preferred for large trees, to avoid circling of the roots.
- You need to always remove the tree from the container for planting.
- Avoid pots that contain large, circling roots.
- Soil and roots should be joined tightly.
Other Things to Consider When Buying Mature Trees
When choosing trees for in parks and along streets, you will want the trees to already be fairly substantial in size. That means purchasing more mature trees. Here are some things to consider. Look for:
- Bright healthy bark.
- Strong well-developed leaders
- Trunk and limbs that are insect free and have no mechanical injury.
- For most trees the ideal spacing between branches is 8–12 inches.
- Good trunk taper.
- The branches are well-distributed around the trunk.
Remember good tree care begins with choosing healthy trees.