We all know that Colorado is extremely hot and dry during the summer months. Making for the question of “can I plant trees in the summer months?” The answer is yes! Tree roots actually grow faster during the summer, and with just a little extra TLC the summer is a great time to plant.
It is all about water! You will need to keep a close eye on your tree for the next few months. Individual trees have individual needs…so be sure to check the soil before you think your plant needs water. The best way to figure this out is to find the area where the root ball meets the native soil, dig down 6-8 inches and check for moisture. Overwatering can cause death just as easily as under watering so be sure to pay attention! If the trees leaves are starting to turn light brown and curl upward, your tree 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 look for water.
Mulch is your best friend! Mulch your newly planted trees 2-3” thick. Do not place the mulch on top of the root ball but instead, the backfill area and beyond. Make sure no mulch in touching the trunk of tree. Mulch helps to retain moisture and can help prevent weeds from coming up. Rock beds will absorb heat and radiate that heat against your plant, this causes the plant’s leaves to loose moisture rapidly thus resulting in stressed, thirsty plants. It is important to note that the mulch will retain moisture so, it is extremely important to avoid overwatering or using mulch in wet sites.
This mild fertilizer helps to develop strong, healthy root systems. The stronger the root system, the healthier the plant will be. Root stimulator supports existing roots and can help with the transplant shock. To use, mix 3 ½ tablespoons of root stimulator to 1 gallon of water and pour the diluted solution over the soil/ root ball of the tree. Use this mix once a week for the first month, as a part of your regular watering schedule. Additionally, do not fertilize (except with root stimulator) newly planted trees during the first year. For mature trees, don’t fertilize past mid-July.