Choosing and planting a healthy tree for your yard begins with careful planning. After a little research and a thoughtful layout plan, you can produce a landscape that’s not only attractive, but will cool your home in summer, tame the winter winds, and provide shelter for birds and mammals …
A well-planned yard contains tree species that grow well in the soil conditions and moisture levels of your specific neighborhood. Trees need to be placed properly to avoid collisions with the house, power lines, and other trees …
Consider the following before purchasing a tree:
1. Hardiness zone: Is the tree hardy in Zone 5/6?
2. Height: How big will the tree get at maturity? Will it collide with anything when it is fully grown?
3. Canopy spread: How wide will the tree grow? You need to research not only the height at maturity, but also the spread.
4. Tree shape or form: A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade.
5. Growth rate: How fast does the tree grow? How long until it reaches its full height?
6. Moisture, sun, soil requirements: The right tree in the right place is so important for success. See the recommendations below for drought-tolerant and wet-tolerant tree species.
7. Fruit dropping: Some trees can be downright messy. You don’t want a sticky mess on busy sidewalks or falling on your car …
Drought-Tolerant Trees For Zone 5 & 6
If your area constantly deals with drought you will want to consider trees listed as drought-tolerant. These trees are adapted to sites in their native habitat that regularly experience prolonged dry spells …
Remember the first few years of life is critical to the survival of any type of tree. Get them off to a good start for the best chances of success. See the tips below …
Cleveland Pear Tree
On the opposite end of the spectrum if your area deals with a large amount of moisture or wet conditions … here are a few trees that will do better in those conditions:
Swamp White Oak
Autumn Blaze Maple
Shade Trees For Zone 5 & 6: (These beautiful trees will provide a canopy of shade to your yard and can lower a/c costs!)
American Red Maple
Tree Watering Guidelines
Tree watering is an integral part of healthy tree care. It’s difficult to recommend an exact amount due to the different climates and types of trees. Here are a few rules of thumb that can assist you to water your trees properly …
Watering Newly Planted Trees: Most new trees need general watering the first weeks/months they are in your yard. But be careful not to over water …
If you see the tree wilting, and are constantly watering, back off with the water and see how your plant does on its own for awhile. During dry spells, be sure to deeply water your tree (including the surrounding soil) once a week.
Watering Trees During First Two Years: During the first few growing seasons, your newly planted tree expends a lot of energy trying to get its roots established. This can be a stressful time for your young tree…especially during the first few summers.
It may have a difficult time dealing with heat and drought conditions. You can help by providing water during dry times and covering the soil with mulch. Deep watering can also help speed strong roots …
How Much Water & When: Not enough water is harmful for the tree, but too much water is bad as well. Over watering is a common tree and plant care mistake …
Note that moist is different than soggy, and you can determine this by feel. A damp soil that dries for a short period will allow adequate oxygen to permeate the soil.
As a rule of thumb your soil should be moist. You can check soil moisture by using a garden trowel and inserting it into the ground to a depth of 2 inches. Then move the blade of the trowel back and forth to create a small, narrow trench. Use your fingers to touch the soil in the trench. If it is most to the touch, then the soil does not need water …
Watering Trees After the First Two Years: After your tree has been established in your yard for two years, the roots will be established. This will allow your tree to withstand a wider range of water and weather conditions because it has a proper root structure …
Don’t Forget The Mulch!
Mulch is your garden’s best buddy. It holds down grasses and weeds that will compete with your new tree’s roots for water. It also helps the soil retain water …
Additionally, mulch helps the soil from becoming overly compacted and acts as an insulator during the winter months. Create a mulch bed around your tree that is 2-4 inches thick, while encircling your tree with a several foot diameter. (Do not volcano mulch! I see this so often and it really bothers me. More is not better.) Leave a slight area mulch free just where your trunk reaches the ground.
Enjoy The Benefits of Trees
Choose a tree for your Zone 5 / 6 yard carefully. Beforehand, do some research and be sure to plan the layout as noted above …
Select the right type of tree for your location and you will enjoy it for many years to come …
Trees are so beneficial to clean our air, conserve energy, increase property values, provide a habitat for wildlife … the list goes on and on. Plant a tree in your yard and reap the many benefits!