Plant selection and installation
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Plant Selection and Installation. Learning Objectives. Describe the factors involved in selecting appropriate landscape plants. Explain the general guidelines for purchasing healthy landscape plants.

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Plant Selection and Installation

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Plant selection and installation

Plant Selection and Installation


Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the factors involved in selecting appropriate landscape plants.

  • Explain the general guidelines for purchasing healthy landscape plants.

  • Compare and contrast the planting procedures for balled-and-burlapped vs. container-grown plants.

  • Diagram how to stake a newly planted tree.


Choosing trees and shrubs

Choosing Trees and Shrubs

  • Trees

    • Size

      • Large (>45 ft.)

      • Medium (30-45 ft.)

      • Small (10-30 ft.)

  • Shade

  • Rooting characteristics

    • Invasive

    • Surface roots

  • Shrubs


Plant selection

Plant Selection

Small-space trees

  • Amur maple

  • Japanese maple

  • Eastern redbud

  • Kousa dogwood

  • Kwanzan cherry

  • Japanese tree lilac


Tree roots

Tree Roots

Trees with invasive roots:

  • Silver maple

  • Willow

  • Poplar

  • Alder

  • Sweet gum


Sources of landscape plants

Sources of Landscape Plants

  • Local garden centers

    • Sell plants grown by wholesale nurseries

  • Retail nurseries

    • Grow some of the plants they sell, and may offer landscape design and installation services

  • Mail-order catalogs

    • May offer plants not available locally


Select healthy stock

Select Healthy Stock

  • Tree health

  • Tree size

  • Tree type

Root system, root ball, or container spread should be 10 to 12 inches for every inch of stem diameter.


Tree type bare root

Tree Type: Bare-Root

  • Inexpensive and light weight

  • Best when young

  • Should have a caliper of <2 inches

  • Plant when dormant before buds begin to swell

  • Soak roots in water for up to 24 hours before planting.


Tree type balled and burlapped

Tree Type: Balled-and-Burlapped

  • Both fine and coarse roots are included

    • Less transplant shock

  • Handle root ball gently to avoid disturbing root contact with soil

  • Watch for buried root collars:

    • Avoid buying trees with more than 4 inches of soil over the root collar.


Tree type containerized

Tree Type: Containerized

  • Round pots can cause circling roots

    • cut or straighten at time of planting.

  • Should be well rooted but not root-bound.

  • Avoid trees grown bare-root but recently potted for sale.


Root bound

Root Bound


Pre planting care

Pre-Planting Care

  • Keep trees and shrubs shaded, cool, and moist before planting.

  • Remove all labels/wires from the stem.

  • Point tops of plants away from afternoon sun if they must be stored in the open.


Tree roots grow laterally

Tree Roots Grow Laterally


Planting depth

Planting Depth

  • Remove wire baskets, pots, etc.

  • Cut away the burlap from top and sides of root ball


What not to do

What NOT To Do…


Staking new trees

Staking New Trees

  • Bare-root trees need staking to anchor.

  • Staking should allow for trunk flexing in the wind.

  • Trees allowed to move with the wind develop reaction wood.

  • Remove after 1-2 seasons.


Irrigating new trees

Irrigating New Trees

  • Deep, thorough watering is key.

  • Sprinkler systems for lawn offer only shallow watering.

  • Place a hose at the tree base for 15 minutes.

  • Mulch around the base to prevent evaporation.


Dealing with poor drainage

Dealing with Poor Drainage

  • Plant shallow using backfill soil mounded to cover root system

  • Install subsurface tile drains to carry water away from roots


Review questions

Review Questions

  • The most important aspect of landscape tree selection is tree ______________.

  • A common problem with balled-and-burlapped trees is buried root __________.

  • Bare-root trees should be planted in which season?

  • The planting hole should be _________ times ___________ than the root ball.

  • T or F –All newly planted trees should be staked.


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