Tree Planting in Tucson has a bad rap for a good reason. In my Training as an Arborist I learned the proper way to plant a tree and rarely see it in practice. Even Nurseries often provide inferior advice and leave you with a tree that never takes, or blows over in a Monsoon storm. Full neighborhoods are developed with improper tree's planted and planted in an improper location. Why? Well for 2 reasons.
1. Textbook knowledge, when not applied with on the job real life experience in our environment, has little place. some simple examples would be the teaching to water the drip line of a tree. In Tucson with hard soil and dry climate if you water the drip line you will not get water to the most important part of the tree... the root ball. When the textbook teaches the drip line watering technique, it is assumed that the whole center area of the circumference is also getting watered, not so in Tucson. I have followed dedicated watering systems put in by other Landscapers only to have the owner tell me what poor results they have had. Within 3 months our Proven Technique can make the changes needed to feed the tree properly according to our environment. This is one example of textbook knowledge not being very useful with out real life common sense added to the equation. I have many other examples but will not go in depth on this article.
2. Developments are built and planted with the final decisions being made by general contractors. The price and bottom line drives the cost and the Landscaper is under the pressure to make the General happy and overlook the proper planting techniques if the Landscaper even knows them. Tucson is a small town and often the lack of competition allows inferior companies to stay in business, often Unlicensed ones who say they are licensed speaking of a 10$ business license not a ROC License by the State. This is also a long article that I may write at a later time.
Lets get to the task at hand, Tree Planting in Tucson, Arizona.
What can you do? Well hire a Licensed Tree Planting Contractor if you need help. If you would like to do it yourself I will provide you some sound tips.
A. 90% of a Tree's root system are in the top 12 inches of soil. So when you go to the nursery they recommend digging a hole 2x as deep as the pot. I disagree, A good foot or so below will be fine. Tucson is not full of Tap rooting tree's. Your next step is width, the recommend 2x the size of the pot, I disagree. Following their directions will give you a hole to plop your tree in, due to our hard soil you will have a tree that is root bound, the roots will run into your vertical walls and change direction going for the path of least resistance often changing direction and heading the opposite direction than the one they should be to give the tree structure, and believe it or not, this type of planting leads to surface roots and tipped tree's in monsoons. According to ISA Reg's you are supposed to trench a hole with the vertical walls being almost a 45% angle to the bottom, This provides and environment that the roots will keep heading in the right direction ad gradually penetrate the soil, remember 90% of roots are in in the top 12 inches.
B. Next step is soil mix. You want to be 1/3 to 1/2 Organic mix and the remainder native soil. With this said watch the type of tree, some need drained rocky soil and others soil that retain water, so use the proper organic mix. Generally I recommend fertilizing with liquid fertilizers the bottom of the hole to make the hard edges nutrient rich. When planting you want you root collar to be level with the soil grade before excavation.
C. Once your tree is planted you must water, water, water! The amount varies but do not listen to just anyone about how much. I have heard advice given by Certified Arborist in Tucson that borders on Tree Suicide. This is and area that I would involved and accredited Licensed Contractor and Arborist. I recommend our feeding plan which involver a dirt well, Liquid Fertilizers, Mulch (a fresh ground mix from our company, big chip stuff from stores and other Arborist's have little to no value, Our company has healed 1,000's of tree's and have a proven system and trade secret to producing Nitrogen rich formula) and a Proven Watering Plan.
D. Most important is selection. What Kind of Tree do you want to plant? This is a decision that is needing much thought. I am not perfect but I can say that our company has compiled 10's of Thousands of problem Tree Removals to allow us to help with a proper planting selection. A lot of this must be considered. What do you desire? Shade, Privacy, Color, Long term, Short Term, Water needs or Drought resistant, aggressive roots, cold tolerant etc. You can see why a consoling from an Arborist with experience and massive amounts of data is needed. I am sure that the Local Tucson Arborist at Tree Removal Service Tucson can help you with your Tree Planting Needs.
I have watched tree's in 2 months go from a 15 gallon tree that they say will drop its fruit but go on to produce the Largest fruit with our plan, I have also seen massive amounts of growth and countless happy Tucsonian's. I hope that the advice I have given you will help in your Tree Planting in Tucson, Arizona. As always we are here to help.