The Right Tree for the Right Spot
Tree Selection Guidelines
Select the right tree for the right place! Research the mature height, spread and light requirements before purchasing. Don’t plant a tree, such as a Red Oak, that will grow to 50 to 60 feet or more right next to your house. Remember your zones:
- Zone 1 – Plants growing up to 25 feet. Usually acceptable to plant under utility poles, underneath overhangs, and approximately 10’ away from your house.
- Zone 2 – Trees that mature up to 40 feet tall. These should be planted farther away from your house, but no closer than 15 to 20 feet from utility poles.
- Zone 3 – Trees that are 40’ or more. They should be planted at least 35-40 feet from your house, if applicable. Please do not plant these trees underneath utility poles, or near them.
Visit different garden centers and nurseries to see the plants. Look for plants that are stable in the basket/container, have a central leader, healthy buds and straight trunk.
If you have access, get on the Internet. There are many sites, which provide valuable information in choosing plant material for your landscape.
Before digging call the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, (OUPS) at 1-800-362-2764. This free service will mark any utilities thus protecting yourself and your property.
- If space permits, dig hole 2-3 times wider than root ball for B&B (balled and burlap), containerized, and bare root stock. Sides of hole should be gently sloping towards bottom of hole.
- Make sure you find the trunk flare, where trunk and roots connect, and plant this flare at grade level. If the site tends to be a wet site or gets excess water, it is acceptable to plant approx. 3-5 inches higher, or no more than 1/3 of the top of the root ball above ground.
- Place tree in hole and orient (straighten) along an X-Y axis. Try to orient tree so that majority of lower branches, if possible, go away from possible structures and obstructions.
- Backfill hole at least 1/3 to one half of the way, enough to stabilize tree from leaning. On B&B trees, cut away burlap from top of root ball and remove. Remove any rope or twine. If applicable, cut away at least the top 1/3 of the metal basic ring. On containerized trees, before setting in hole, remove pot, check for girdling roots, and if needed, use knife to score sides of soil/root mass. Bare root trees, place in hole, and carefully fill in soil around the roots.
- Fill in rest of back fill. Tamp soil as you backfill, or you can soak dirt with a hose. Let water and dirt settle, add more dirt if needed, and soak again. This will remove any air pockets in the soil.
- Two to three inches of mulch is needed at any given time. Taper mulch away from the trunk.
- Prune off branches that are broken, dead, rubbing. Wait until the following season to start pruning.
- Providing there has not been adequate moisture water at least once every seven to ten days. Approximately 1 inch of water, or two five gallon buckets will suffice. Water tree consistently for at least one year after planting.
- A rule of thumb: for every 1 inch diameter of the tree trunk, it takes the tree approximately 1 year to establish a new root system after being transplanted.
- Fertilization at planting time? It is usually not necessary, but if you have to, it is best to use a slow-release, low rate non-salt fertilizer. Nitrogen is very important for new root growth and root regeneration.
I recently moved into my home and I do not have a street tree. How do I get one?
- In new subdivisions the developer is responsible for the installation of street trees. Landscapers hired by them will plant these trees. The City forester compiles a list in both summer and the winter months of homes that need street trees and sends this list to the landscape contractor. When the contractor is ready to plant the City forester marks the curb where the tree is to be planted and leaves a doorhanger notifying the homeowner on the tree species, as well as its cultural and care facts.
When are trees planted?
- The spring and fall months — April through mid-June and late October to mid-December — are typical times in Ohio for tree planting.
In new subdivisions the developer is responsible for the installation of street trees. A landscape contractor is hired to the plantings. The City Forester compiles two lists a year to send to the contractors – one in late winter and the other in late summer. This list consists of the lot number, address, tree species and how many trees needed. Prior to installation the landscaper contacts the City Forester to mark the areas and put out informational door hangers. These door hangers provide the homeowner with the tree species and cultural facts in maintaining the health of the tree
The trees are under a year guarantee period at which time the City of Dublin accepts responsibility of any replacements.
As previously mentioned, there are two times when street tree are planted. Spring planting is usually from mid April until the mid-June. Fall planting takes place from the end of October to the end of November.