(Continued from Planting 3: Buying your tree)
After the deliberation of species selection, site selection, and purchase, we are now ready for the most critical aspect: placing the tree back into the earth where it longs to be.
Let’s take a quick trip to any natural growing forest area. I want you to travel to a wild place you know, not a planted human-made space. A forest would be perfect. Let’s stand back and look at the trees. Do you notice how every tree trunk is larger and swollen as it approaches the surface of the Earth? The closer you get, the wider the trunk becomes until it starts to break up into the major support roots, the buttress. It is at this point that the trunk has turned into the major roots. If the tree’s bark is one that does not form thick, corky ridges, you may be able to see the trace of a line, a mark in the bark around the trunk. This is easier on a young tree than an oldie. What we are looking at is the root crown, literally the top of the roots.
Root crown is so important to the proper planting process that I want you to take a minute and google it. Look at some pics, watch a video, learn to identify where the root crown is placed. This is easy to do, and once you have learned it, you will be able to properly, naturally plant a tree, just like Nature does. This is no small feat.
Unfortunately, most trees are not planted well, to their serious detriment. Here it is, the monster secret we have all been dying to know: When planting, place the root crown at the existing grade. Find the root crown and match the depth of your planting hole so that when the root ball is placed in the hole, the root crown will be at the same level as the surface of the surrounding soil, so that the root crown is at the surface of the earth at the edge of the planting hole. I am sorry if this sounds complicated but it isn't that difficult. God gets it right every time!