Monday, January 24, 2005

Digging planting holes

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to digging planting holes for shrubs and trees. Most of the instructions I've gotten, tell you to dig a million dollar hole for a 10 dollar plant-the hole should be twice the size and depth of the plant's rootball. Most also tell you to add amendments to the soil you dug, with either manure, mulch or peat and maybe even some fertilizer.

There is another but minority opinion (I haven't come across it more than once) that says to dig the hole as above but to not add amendments of any kind because if you do, the roots will grow around and around in the hole you've dug, where you've kindly supplied all the nice nutrients. Keep the soil uniform and the roots will spread out evenly. They also recommend not staking trees, having wind stress make the trees root faster and spread farther.

I used the second method because it seemed logical. I believe the trees have stood up better in windstorms because the roots did spread. Our neighbor has had a terrible time with windstorms. Two of his medium sized trees were felled and I believe it's because they (the landscapers) added mulch to the original soil. None of our trees have fallen in spite of some being top heavy and unstaked. Any thoughts on this?

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