Park's Landscapes Tips for Success
When Selecting and Planting Your Trees
Making Your Selections
Selecting our fast-growing trees
To reap the benefits of fast-growing shade trees and fast-growing evergreen trees, follow these guidelines for the best success:
Getting Off on the Right Foot
Giving trees their best start
Remove any existing vegetation from the planting area. Dig a hole three times the size of the root ball. Loosen and work the soil that you dug out of the hole. It is best not to mix amendments or fertilizer into the backfill. If you do add compost or other organic material, it should be no more than 1/3 of the amount of soil and should be well-mixed. Research has shown that the best use of organic material such as compost, ground bark, etc. is as mulch once the tree is planted. Keep the mulch 4 to 5 inches from the trunk and apply no deeper than 3 inches. If the roots are pot bound (circling on each other), disturb the root ball just prior to planting. Keep all types of trees (especially bare-root) moist at all times prior to planting.
Other important reminders:
Shade and Windscreen Trees
Getting shade in a hurry
Fast-growing shade trees are excellent for providing shade on the western and southern sides of your home or outdoor living space. If it gets very hot by midday in your region, you might want to plant a tree to provide shade on the southeastern exposure. In addition, the density of shade depends on the size of the leaves. For instance, tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) gives maximum reduction in the sun’s intensity and should be used to shade homes. Others, such as dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), or river birch (Betula nigra) provide lightly filtered sunlight that plants such as camellias and azaleas need to perform best.
Creating a wind barrier
Since shade trees lose their leaves during colder months, you will want to select fast-growing evergreen trees to use as wind breaks. These trees are well branched and provide coverage right down to the ground. Use a variety of fast-growing evergreen trees and plant them in a line that is perpendicular to the prevailing winter wind.
You will find an abundance of information and sources for fast-growing trees. Make your selections wisely. Avoid species that are fast growing but develop weak trunks or have other problems, for example, empress tree (Palownia tomentosa), Chinaberry (Melia azedarach), and mimosa (Albizia julibrissin). For a more extensive list of fast-growers to pass on, see our Top 8 Fast-Growing Trees to Avoidlist. Remember you're selecting trees that will be a part of your landscape for a long time to come!