Torrey Pines Landscape Company

Torrey Pines Landscape Company
As featured in Ranch & Coast Magazine ( design by )

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Planting Trees in San Diego - How to

Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc. has been planting trees in the San Diego area since 1983. We want to ensure that the trees we plant not only survive, but thrive. Here's the process we generally follow:
1. The general rule: the ideal time to plant a tree is the autumn or early spring. Since we install landscapes year-round in San Diego, this isn't as much of an issue as it would be in other parts of the country. Palms and tropicals are ideally planted in the summer. Deciduous trees plant best when they are dormant.
2.Choose the right tree for the right area. As a professional design company, we understand the characteristics of each species (climate needs, growth rate, mature shape, maintenance requirements, & disease tolerance) and can help homeowners to choose a tree that not only enhances their garden but will thrive in its placement.
3.Where to buy a tree? We have established long term relationships with many of the wholesale nurseries in the San Diego County and will scour our sources to find you the best specimens that are available. We also import specimens from our contacts out of county which are then shipped safely with the plants health in mind. We want to ensure that we are starting with a healthy tree. 4.To dig or not to dig? We'll find out and avoid any underground piping, cables etc. There may be local code requirements that your community has as well.
5. The most common mistakes when planting a tree happen before the tree is even planted. Successful planting relies on the digging hole. Holes that are too deep prevent the newly planted trees roots from having access to sufficient oxygen. Holes that are too narrow prevent the rootstructure from expanding enough to nourish and anchor the tree. Holes dug in clay soil without breaking up the slick sides create a barrier known as glazing which prevents water from passing through. So here's our technique: We dig a hole that is 2.5 times the width of the root ball. The general rule for depth is that the crown of the root ball where the trunk starts should sit above (about 1") the surrounding earth. The added height allows for settling. Remember when handling a tree, use the trunk. The bottom of the hole should have a slight pedestal in the middle which the root ball sits on and water pools away from. This prevents water from collecting directly below the trunk which can cause rot. We score the side of the hole, particularly if there is a high clay content to the soil.
6. Creating the back-fill: The soil that we excavate is tilled with peat moss, composted manure, topsoil and mycorrhizae. This blend is what we use for back-fill. The blend may vary depending on the type of tree being planted.
7.The planting: After gently opening the root ball by hand, we seat the tree upon the pedestal in the hole and surround it with the back-fill soil up to the crown of the root ball. This soil is then hand compressed to allow water to reach the roots. We then water, wait an hour, fill with back-fill after the settling and water again. (1 gallon for every 6" of trunk height is appx.) We then mulch 3" from the trunk out past the circumference of the original hole at least ot the drip line (the widest point that there are leaves). This helps to keep the tree hydrated and most weeds out. We stake trees where appropriate.
8. The first year of a transplanted trees life is critical. It will need consistent & regular watering until the roots are established. To form deep roots, water slowly for an extended period. Deep roots help the tree to resist droughts and winds.
9. Torrey Pines Landscape Co., Inc. gives a year warranty for all trees that we plant. We are a design, install and maintenance company. We want you to enjoy the tree as it grows over the years.
-garden girl says "Get out there and enjoy your garden!"

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