Noble but not easy! In fact planting a tree is not just punching a hole and throwing the tree in it.
You can start your path from a seed, as this article is about, or grow a transplant tree, but both cases the tree needs carefulness.
1. Make sure you are selecting the right time of year.
Every plant has its needs and its best time to be planted, but in general do not plant in late spring/summer because the heat will stress your tree and may make it withered. In the Northern hemisphere, April and May are the best times, because the tree has all the hot season to grow and get accustomed to its new habitat. On the other hand, September and October are good because it tends to be cooler and rainier and the trees are getting ready to hibernate.
Note: Certain trees, like birches and oaks - nut trees in general - don’t do well if planted in the fall. If you get the green thumb during the fall, container trees are the way to go.
- Be aware of local digging requirements.
Before you start digging, make sure that your local region has no digging requirements. Cautionary measures have to be taken when digging around areas near telephone and other cable systems. Make sure you know these before beginning to dig, especially if you live in an urban area!
- Take region, climate, and space into consideration.
You don’t want to bring a potential invasive species into the area. Also, if you choose one that is already native to the area, it will be a lot easier to take care of.
Do some research of the types of species that are in your area. It might seem fun to plant something unique. However, always remember that not only will this be harder to maintain, it can also damage the local ecosystem if it becomes invasive.
- Prepare the hole.
With a suitable shovel, dig a hole that is at least 4 times the width of the root ball, giving it enough space for the fresh root to grow without complications. This will make it easier for the roots to grow outwards into the soil without any stress. If your root has a wire basket, don’t worry; the roots will growth though it easily. This is so that the root is not damaged during the planting process.
When you dig the hole, make sure to leave a little bump of dirt where the root will sit. This dirt lift will prevent the root from always sitting on water. The water will still sit around the bump, which will allow the root to naturally gather it when needed. The center point should be at least half an inch higher than the rest of the hole so your tree won’t “drown” and ultimately drown.
Tip: Loosen the dirt on the edges of the hole so that the roots can spread effortlessly.
- Germinate and plant your seed
This is the fun, yet challenging part of the planting process. Although a longer process than planting a container tree, taking close care of it and choosing an appropriate time to plant the seed will make germinating the seed enjoyable and relatively quick.
Germinating a seed means that you break the seed coat and allow moisture to penetrate so that the plant embryo can begin growing. A helpful tip is if the seed needs storing prior to planting, do so in a dry, cool place, such as a refrigerator. You can then break the seed coat to allow moisture to go through before setting them aside to continue to germinated in soil containers or trays. Once they are fully germinated, you can move them to a brighter location with ventilation.
Make sure to do your research on your type of tree. Different trees have different needs!