So you bought tree, now what? Dig a hole, put tree in hole, fill up hole...right? Yeah, pretty much. However, there are some trees that are not properly suited to your soil and climatic conditions. That is what this article is about the planting of tree to ensure survival of an investment of both time and money.
First of all, lets assume the tree is near where you would like to plant it. Is this a good spot? Look at the tag and hopefully you asked some good questions at the nursery. You did ask good questions at the nursery, didn't you? The biggest consideration is sunlight tolerance. Is the site sunny, shady or somewhere in between? This something to ask your nurseryman, usually the tags are written in climates different than we have in Central Oklahoma and can be wrong, so ask. Second is tree size. Usually the tags are spot on here, but sometimes Oklahoma clay and wind can stunt growth. Are there structures in the way? If so, do you mind regular pruning? What about driveway or sidewalks that the trunk or roots could damage? Does the tree fruit? You may not want it near you car. Maybe fall litter will clog your gutters. Things to think about. The last major consideration is water. Is the area higher and dry or low and wet? Is it an area you can get water to easily? There are other things to think about but these are the major points. Now that you have thought about them it is time to go pick a tree, go ahead, I'll wait...
It's finally spring this will be our last post in a series about good tree selections for central Oklahoma. Our next post will be about the site selection and planting of these trees.
Pines have had a lot of bad press lately. After the hail storms last year many Pines turned yellow and died. This was caused by the Pine Bark Beetle introducing a fungus or blight to the trees through the wounds from being pummeled by the hail. Unfortunately the most popular Pine, Austrian Pine, P. nigra, is also horribly susceptible to blight. But there are good varieties, most are vast improvements over the Austrian Pine.
Early Spring really is one of the best times to get started on your landscapes. Trees and shrubs get a huge benefit from being planted this time of year because of their dormancy cycle. For the same reason bare root roses typically do better than their potted counterparts, trees and shrubs usually do not have the stress and shock symptoms when planted in the colder months. Therefor, for the next few weeks, we will cover some of the better trees and shrubs for central Oklahoma. At the end of this series, we will have a post on the best ways to plant these plants to ensure the best success.
To start this series on Oklahoma-able trees and shrubs, we will cover the state tree, the Oklahoma Redbud (Cercis canadensis texensis 'Oklahoma'). Most of us have seen them, some of us like them, so I will be brief with the description. They are fast growing to 25-ish feet, and have a open rounded shape with mostly horizontal branching.
Photo courtesy Monrovia
Below: Easter Redbud (Top)
Oklahoma Redbud (Bottom)
This is where is is so important to read tags. Most Redbuds sold are not truly Oklahoma Redbuds. An Eastern Redbud has light green leaves and pale pink flowers, while the Texas Redbuds, of which the Oklahoma is a variety, have thicker darker and glossy leaves and the Oklahoma alone has dark and rich pink flowers. The Texas Redbuds are also more adapted to the heavy alkaline soils here in the plains. Other Eastern Redbuds will need extensive soil amending and close watch on the water. Especially when freshly planted. No matter what species or variety is chosen, better than average drainage and watering will be needed. They are not a low maintenance tree; stay tuned for our message on how to make just about any tree low maintenance. Besides site requirements, the only thing to look out for is too many trunks. Too many splits stunts growth, weakens the tree and invites water and insect infiltration that can split the tree.
Aside from our state tree there are plenty of good varieties:
Let our extensive knowledge base be the basis of your new sanctuary!