Plant a tree on Arbor Day

Each April, people celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree. Trees not only add beauty to neighborhoods, they add oxygen and remove pollution from the air, provide habitats for wildlife, help reduce cooling costs by shading homes, increase property values, and much, much more.

The Minnesota DNR has great tips on how to choose, plant, and maintain a tree. If you are interested in planting a tree on your property, here are some tips to help you select and maintain your seedling.

First, study the location where you would like to plant a new tree. Consider the soil type and texture, and amount of sun and shade. This will help you understand which type of tree will grow best in your setting.

Also, consider the amount of space you have available. You’ll need to plant the tree 10 to 15 feet from your house foundation, and at least 5 feet from fences and patios. Also, look overhead at power lines. If your tree will be situated below a line, choose a variety that will grow to 18 feet or less in height.

Once you have planted your new tree, you’ll need to establish a maintenance routine, both to give it a solid start and keep it healthy. First up: water. Give your new tree 15-25 gallons of water once a week for 3 to 5 years. (Of course, you’ll be off the hook during winter—another reason to love the snow!)

Put a small fence around the base of your tree to keep it safe from animals, and cover the ground with mulch. Mulch will help the roots stay moist during the hot summer days and protect them from freezing in the winter. It will also help keep the weed population down.

Finally, trees need pruning to form a solid structure with strong branch attachments. This will help the tree withstand and recover more quickly from storm damage, and limit rot. Bring in a professional to help you prune the trees, especially if you have limited experience with new trees. It’s a great way to build your knowledge as well as care for your tree.

He who plants a tree, plants a hope.
— Lucy Larcom

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