COVID-19 Extension Updates and Resources ... More Information »

Close message window

Plant A Tree

December is the month we celebrate Arbor Day. So, consider planting a tree in honor of this day. Start by selecting the right plant for the site. First, analyze the chosen site by checking the soil drainage, number of sunlight hours, and amount of available space for a tree to reach its mature height and width. Once these factors are determined a tree species can be selected. CAUTION: Call 811, two to three working days before you dig. This service will mark underground utility lines.

Once the appropriate tree is selected plant it correctly. Proper planting depth is critical for long-term health of the tree. Start by locating the root flare of the tree. The root flare is where the first main root attaches to the trunk. You may need to remove excess soil from across the top of the root ball to expose the root flare. The root flare should be located at ground level and no deeper. To keep the root flare AT soil level, the planting hole should be dug exactly the same depth as the root ball and 2 to 3 times wider. Do not loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole; this will cause the root ball to settle deeper into the ground over time. After placing the tree in the hole, backfill with native soil and lightly tamp. Lastly, apply a two- to three- inch layer of organic mulch and then water slowly.

To keep the root flare AT soil level, the planting hole should be dug exactly the same depth as the root ball and 2 to 3 times wider.

To keep the root flare AT soil level, the planting hole should be dug exactly the same depth as the root ball and 2 to 3 times wider.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2018, Clemson Extension

The root flare is where the first main root attaches to the trunk.

The root flare is where the first main root attaches to the trunk.
Barbara H. Smith, ©2018, Clemson Extension

For more information, refer to HGIC 1001, Planting Trees Correctly and HGIC 1050, Choosing a Planting Location.

Consider Planting a Tree to Attract Pollinators

Common Name Botanical Name Season Flower Color
Painted Buckeye Aesculus sylvatica Late Spring Yellow/Green
Serviceberry Amelanchier x grandiflora
‘Autumn Brilliance’
Spring White
Pawpaw Asimina triloba Late Spring Maroon
Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensi Spring Pink
White Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus Late Spring White
Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida Spring White
Green Hawthorne Crataegus viridis Spring White
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana Early Summer Yellow
American Holly Ilex opaca Late Spring White
Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipifera Late Spring Yellow
Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora Spring White
Umbrella Magnolia Magnolia tripetala Spring Pale Yellow
Sourwood Oxydendrum arboreum Summer White

For more information on selecting a tree species for the landscape, refer to the following:

HGIC 1716, Plants for Shade

HGIC 1717, Plants that Tolerate Drought

HGIC 1718, Plants for Damp or Wet Areas

HGIC 1727, Pollinator Gardening

HGIC 1730, Salt Tolerant Plants for South Carolina Coast

 

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

Factsheet Number

Newsletter

Categories

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This