Coloradans often get scared about planting trees during the hot summer months. The sweltering heat and oppressive dryness make people wonder if it would be better to wait until fall to plant. The truth is that trees' roots grow fast during the summer and with just a little extra TLC, summer can be a great time to plant!
Potted vs bareroot
In the summer you should only choose to plant trees that are potted in their own soil as opposed to bare root where the root ball is exposed and the soil has been washed off. Bare root trees often experience more stress due to lack of water and can show signs of this stress before you even put them into the ground.
Potted trees have healthier root systems, which ensure that your plants quickly get established and take off. If you are planning on waiting a few days before planting your potted tree, make sure that you water your tree daily in the pot.
Colorado is famous for its clay like soil. It is very dense and you will need to amend before planting. We are huge believers in Soil Pep, an all-natural product, which decomposes and amends your soil. It does a great job of breaking up tough soil and keeping it light and loose. What does this mean for your newly planted tree? Soil that is oxygenated enough to allow the roots to grow and flourish.
In the summer, water becomes your tree’s best friend. You need to pay close attention to your tree’s watering needs during these hot months. Individual trees have individual needs so make sure to check the soil before assuming that your plant needs water. Overwatering can cause death just as easily as under watering so be sure to pay attention! If the tree's leaves are starting to turn light brown and curl upward, your tree likely needs more water. If you are guilty of overwatering, the leaves will start to droop or wilt and look like they’re too heavy for the branches to hold up, or turn dark brown or black. It is better to soak your plants every few days than it is to give them little bits of water every day. Little bits of water can train the roots to grow close to the surface, since they don’t have to grow deep to find water.
Mulch is a valuable resource for Colorado gardens, having so many benefits for your newly planted trees. Mulch insulates the soil, helping to provide a buffer from hot and cold temperatures. Mulch also retains water helping to keep the roots moist and keeps weeds out, preventing root competition. It reduces soil compaction and will even reduce lawn mower damage. By mulching your newly planted tree 2-4” deep around the root ball, you are giving it extra help in the growing process.
As its name suggests, root stimulator helps a plant to develop strong, healthy root systems. The stronger the roots, the healthier your plant will be. Unlike powdered rooting hormones, root stimulating liquids are meant to support existing roots, rather than encouraging new roots to form.
Root Stimulator helps to reduce transplant shock and will encourage more vigorous growth from your plants. To use, mix 3 ½ Tablespoons of Root Stimulator with 1 gallon of water and pour diluted solution over the soil as the roots are being covered. Make sure that the roots are wet with the solution. Wet soil around plants with water after planting.