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Thread: Tree Planting

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    Tree Planting

    I have another yard work question for you all. I have a couple of autumn blaze maple trees that are no longer producing buds at the top. I believe they were either planted too deeply by Earl May, where I bought them from several years ago, and/or they have had some borer damage. So I believe my only option is to replace them. They are only about 3 inches in diameter at the base. I am thinking I would need to hire someone to pull them out or rent a skid loader or something. I live in town by the way. Would anyone recommend I find a more reputable place with a certified arborist to have plant a couple trees. I've had a couple quotes and there is definitely a premium built in. Or could I save some money and buy a couple trees from Menards and plant myself. I am a little short on time this spring, so may end up having to hire someone. Any thoughts on removal, planting, where to buy from, good species for in town, etc? Should I try a different species than the autumn blaze? Thanks.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Just buy and plant yourself. I helped my brother plant 5 trees in his yard a few years ago and it wasn't a big deal. That way you can get them set at the depth you want. He had his original trees planted by a landscaping company and they were all planted either too deep, or too shallow. It's pretty sad when a company will plant trees for you and leave the roots up above the level of the grade. I understand trees shouldn't be planted too deep, but after a year in the ground we could push them over.. I think that may be a little too shallow.

    Just buy a couple dirty thirties and invite a few friends over. You should have a couple trees whipped out in an afternoon.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    If you're a Mid-American customer, check out this program... MidAmerican Energy Company



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    Re: Tree Planting

    You could tell if it has borer damage. The bark will have holes in them. Second if it's planted too deeply it will look like this if you were to pull some soil away from the root flare:Click image for larger version. 

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    When you plant a tree you want the root flare to be shown. Should be planted a 1" higher because it will settle. This is the root flare: Click image for larger version. 

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    Thirdly, if you have mulch around the tree make sure it's not "volcano mulched". If your tree looks like this when you pull away the mulch, it can cause bacteria and fungal bodies inside the trunk of the tree.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Lastly Autumn Blaze maples are pretty tolerant of pretty much everything. Where are they located at? Shade? Sun? Bottom of a hill? I would plant a tree myself just to make sure I plant them correctly. Unfortunately a lot of landscape contractors just plop it in the ground and move on.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    I have 5 trees in my yard - I planted 4 and had one planted by the landscape company. The only one that needed replacing was the one the contractor planted.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    When I worked for Earl May in collage, we didn't pay a lot of attention to if the tree was planted at the proper depth. Most of the time we were in such a time crunch or just didn't care and wanted to get the day over.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    When we bought our house, we purchased 4 trees. EM planted 3, we planted the last. Two EM planted ones died, one is sickly and never looks well. The one we planted is great, is growing by leaps and bounds every year. EM only digs the hole big enough for the root ball, does no soil mixing and should not be allowed to plant trees. Do it yourself so there is no one else to blame (or take credit).



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by CYme View Post
    When we bought our house, we purchased 4 trees. EM planted 3, we planted the last. Two EM planted ones died, one is sickly and never looks well. The one we planted is great, is growing by leaps and bounds every year. EM only digs the hole big enough for the root ball, does no soil mixing and should not be allowed to plant trees. Do it yourself so there is no one else to blame (or take credit).
    Soil mixing shouldn't be an issue but you are correct on the hole size. Whenever planting a tree or shrub make sure the hole is twice as big as the root ball. If you don't you have an interface problem with the roots. It would be like running into a brick wall and having no place to go, this causes girdling roots. You can mix in soil amendments, but not recommended anymore. Just put the soil you dug out of the hole and place it back with the root ball.

    If I were you I would do it yourself, there are tree specs all over the internet. One tree should roughly take ya 15 minutes.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a pretty good spec. Try not to stake it unless you have to. It serves as a crutch for the tree.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    MIssouriCyclone is spot on.

    One more thing - I would consider planting something other than a maple. We have more maples in urban areas that even ash at this point in time. Diversify! I'm also a fan of native trees.

    Trees & Shrubs Native in Iowa

    Here's a local nursery worth your time - Iowa Native Trees & Shrubs


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    Re: Tree Planting

    I helped my parents establish a walnut grove (amongst many, many, many other trees) in high school.

    Don't get carried away when selecting trees. Small bareroot trees from the county do fine if they receive some care. I usually dig a hole that is the natural circumference of a circle as traced by the spade and about the depth of the spade blade and had good luck.


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    Re: Tree Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by bugs4cy View Post
    MIssouriCyclone is spot on.

    One more thing - I would consider planting something other than a maple. We have more maples in urban areas that even ash at this point in time. Diversify! I'm also a fan of native trees.

    Trees & Shrubs Native in Iowa

    Here's a local nursery worth your time - Iowa Native Trees & Shrubs
    Many classes with Dr. Jeff Iles can do that to ya. haha!

    I agree too, instead of planting 4 autumn blaze maples diversify it. This was the problem 30 years ago when everyone planted ash. Now we have emerald ash borer and have to take them all out. If we have a pest for maples anytime soon we're screwed. Natives are always a good selection as well.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Thanks for the suggstions. Any thoughts on an easy way to dig out the existing trees? I planted them 5-7 years ago, but they are probably only 3-4 inches in diameter. So I doubt the root system is terribly extensive. I suppose I try myself, and if too difficult, hire someone to tear them out.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    Thanks for the suggstions. Any thoughts on an easy way to dig out the existing trees? I planted them 5-7 years ago, but they are probably only 3-4 inches in diameter. So I doubt the root system is terribly extensive. I suppose I try myself, and if too difficult, hire someone to tear them out.
    You can try, but I'll bet the root system will surprise you. I dug out small juniper (3 feet high, maybe?) that had only been in the ground 2 years and its roots were everywhere - it was not easy to get out.



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    Re: Tree Planting

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff0514 View Post
    Thanks for the suggstions. Any thoughts on an easy way to dig out the existing trees? I planted them 5-7 years ago, but they are probably only 3-4 inches in diameter. So I doubt the root system is terribly extensive. I suppose I try myself, and if too difficult, hire someone to tear them out.
    Find somebody with a truck and a chain. They should pop out.



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