COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Planting a tree for Arbor Day is easy, right? Not so fast!
"If you want to spend years enjoying the shade and beauty of your new tree, as well as help our environment, make sure it gets off to a good start," said Robert Boyles, Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) state forester. "Seek expert advice to choose the best species of tree to grow in the space you have selected. Remember that in the years to come, your tree will grow tall and wide so choose a planting site where the tree's crown won't interfere with powerlines and where the roots will have room to grow."
Boyles suggests the following tips when planting trees for Arbor Day (this Friday, April 29, 2016):
- Know what's below – Always call 811 two business days prior to starting any digging project to have utility lines properly marked. "People probably think 'I've got this, let me grab a shovel and plant a tree,'" said Dan Creekmur, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio. "Calling 811 two days before Arbor Day or any digging project is easy, free and it's the law."
- Discover your roots – The rootball package (bare roots, containerized or balled and burlapped) of our tree will determine how to plant it. There are planting tips for each type of package at arborday.org
- How low should you go? – Planting too deep could harm your tree. Locate the top-most root on your tree and dig the hole to a depth so that this root is at or near ground level. The wider the hole, the better, is the "green" rule of thumb when planting.
- Remove the rootball package – Remove twine, burlap, wire basket and any other material from the tree before backfilling the planting hole.
- Watering is the most important step – Once the tree is secure and soil has been placed firmly (but not hard-packed) supporting the tree, create a water-holding basin around the tree and give it a healthy drink. Soil should be moist but not soggy, and trees should be watered with five gallons (plus five gallons for each trunk inch diameter) every week while they have their leaves depending on weather conditions.
- Don't forget to mulch – Mulch the planting surface with composted bark about 3 inches deep, leaving 3 inches adjacent to the trunk free of mulch.
- Avoid using fertilizer – Do not fertilize your tree! Fertilizer, potting soil and chemicals may harm your newly planted tree.
- Bask in the shade of your tree's loveliness. Seek professional help from an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist for pruning, and remember to enjoy your new tree.
To celebrate a job well done, share a picture of your Arbor Day planting project and enter Columbia Gas of Ohio's #ICalled811 contest on social media. The winner will receive $811 and have the opportunity to select a local emergency responder to receive $811 as well.
For complete #ICalled811 contest rules, regulations and eligibility, please visit columbiagasohio.com/ICalled811Contest.
No purchase necessary. See Official Contest Rules. Subject to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Terms & Conditions. Visa, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do not endorse, sponsor or administer the Contest.
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SOURCE Columbia Gas of Ohio