Many times we have heard it said that you have to do three things in life : write a book, have a child and plant a tree. Today, we are going to talk about the simplest – and ecological! – of them: to give a little life back to the planet by planting a tree.
It is much easier than we think and we can do it in just one day. In addition, this beautiful activity can be carried out both alone and with friends and family, your children will love the experience! Together with its positive effect on the environment, this modest action will bring us great joy (who can resist seeing their tree grow?) For a lifetime. Keep reading this article if you want to know some tips for planting a tree.
Benefits of planting a tree
Trees provide great benefits to the environment : they provide oxygen, clean the air, maintain temperature, prevent erosion and are a source of raw materials. Likewise, they serve as a shelter for insects and creatures.
However, planting a tree is not just about making a hole in the ground and putting the plant in. We need prior preparation , collect information and take into account a series of considerations to ensure that we are going to do it correctly, such as the climate in which we are planting it, the type of tree, the terrain and the conditions and care that it needs. specific plant.
Determine the climate of your area
In addition to the temperature map, we have to know the terrain of our garden , park or field where we are going to plant the tree. Factors such as slope or soil erosion are important. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to plant on a sloping ground (the trunk of the tree could fall due to the weight and break), better choose a flat ground. It will also help to look at the trees already planted in that area.
It will help to know more about the soil, if it is acidic, clayey, limestone, sandy … it must be borne in mind that we are planting a tree in a totally natural way , so all these variables matter a lot.
Know the terrain
We cannot simply choose the tree that we like the most and plant it, first we have to be sure that this vegetation is perfect for our climate . That is why this mentioned hardiness zone is essential. If a tree is described as “hardy to zone 10” it means that it withstands cold weather conditions. For this reason, it is preferable to plant a native tree, because that way we will be sure that it is made for our climate. If we opt for an exotic vegetation and do not take into account the variables, it is possible that it does not develop well or that it dies.
When choosing the tree , we may also have to observe other factors: a type of tree in danger, which provides a home for the birds … knowing the tree will help us in this important decision.
Some native trees of Spain are: chestnut, birch, holly, poplar, willow, oak, pear … Once chosen, get a quick guide to planting that species or ask an expert to make sure everything works out. Well, many times the process to follow differs depending on the characteristics of the tree.
Choose the type of tree we are going to plant
If you are planting a tree in a public place, you may need to ask permission. Make sure you don’t contradict any laws and that you can do it on the right ground.
If this is the first time you do it and you are not very sure, you can always consult a botanist or contact an ecological association that will be happy to help you and congratulate you on your initiative.
Make sure you can legally do it
As fundamental as knowing the characteristics of the terrain and the climate is knowing when to plant the tree . Of course, it will depend on your area and the type of plant but, as a general rule, summer is a good time.
There is a mnemonic rule so that we never forget: the best months to plant trees are the months without “r” ; that is, May, June, July and August. Although, according to botanist Eduardo Haeme, winter is also a good time because low temperatures make trees less sensitive.
Choose the best time of year to plant it
Once we have all the information on the table and we have decided what type of tree we want to plant, we will proceed to purchase it. Remember that native trees are more appropriate and that a tree will grow longer if it is not in a pot or container.
You can buy trees in organic nurseries , garden stores or ask associations which is the most recommended option. Prices vary (fruit trees and exotic species cost more) but you can find, for example, a tiny chestnut 50-70 centimeters high for less than 5 euros.
Buy the tree
By following these steps, you will be able to plant your tree:
- Draw a circle on the ground calculating how much the plant will occupy, depending on its size and length. The most common mistake is that we tend to make the holes either too narrow or too deep.
- Dig the earth up to about 40 centimeters of surface and another 40 deep, (take into account the size of the tree for this calculation)
- Make sure that the root of your plant fits perfectly in the center .
- Through the stem, delicately and with two fingers, we place the plant in the center of the hole, avoiding at all times touching the root. You have to put it completely straight.
- We place it delicately . The lower part of the stem must be flush with the ground.
- Very carefully, we cover the root of the plant with soil.
- We compact the earth with our hands, without squeezing too much, but not leaving it too loose either.
- We equip with a protective earth circle or, if necessary, with a fence or net that prevents the arrival of insects, pests or birds that can destroy our still weak tree.
Steps to plant a tree
During the first year, the tree will be more fragile than ever, so it is convenient that we take good care of it . That we water it conveniently (without going over) and regularly. We will wait 6 months to compost it and we will feed the soil with a homemade compost or a mixture that we can find in botanical stores in case the soil is too poor.
From now on, he will be like our son and we will only have to admire him and see him grow up under a single goal: to have added plant life to planet earth.