Advice: The Best Time To Plant A Tree

I recently came across this line that can be traced back to a Chinese Proverb about when the best time for all of us to consider planting a tree and it really resonated with me.  It was shared in this (below) Instagram post from Gardeners Supply:

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. (Chinese Proverb) Proper planting is critical to ensure the tree survives and thrives. ⁣ Here are some planting tips (find more on our website's article "How to Plant a Tree or Shrub"):⁣ .⁣ Planting too deep is the top reason that trees and shrubs die.⁣ .⁣ Apply bark mulch or pine straw to a depth of 2–3" over the entire planting hole. Mulching helps conserve water and prevent weeds. Taper the mulch toward the base of the tree, but do not allow it to touch the tree trunk.⁣ .⁣ Proper moisture is critical to the survival of your young tree or shrub. The roots should never dry out completely, nor should they be waterlogged.⁣ .⁣ ⁣ Plant a tree, for yourself, and for our future!⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ ⁣ #environment #trees #savetheplanet #thinkgreen #nature #forest #landscape #outdoors #tree #green #garden #gardendesign #gardening #landscapearchitecture #gardenlife #arbor #lovegardeners
A post shared by Gardener's Supply (@gardeners) on

There's something powerful about the message of both having faith that time helps things grow and at the same time compelling us all to act RIGHT NOW.  In my 2019 Yard 'To Do' List, I mention that I need to take action when it comes to conifers in our yard this season.  Coupled with the idea of working with each of the kids to plant a tree with them on Earth Day means that I hope we'll get three new smallish evergreen trees to add to our mix. 

This will be our third full Summer in our yard, so the earliest of trees will have been in the ground for three years.  I've documented the trees we've planted and are up to 26 in total with the most recent being a small Bald Cypress in our front yard. 

That 26 is made up of: 21 trees that are alive as we speak.   The three that we've lost and not replaced include a Corkscrew Willow (2017), a Fraser Fir (2018) and Canadian Hemlock (2018).  We've replaced two other trees that we planted in 2017, too.

Broken down by year, here's how they were put in:

2017 (9 planted.  3 Died.  6 of the original annual total alive now):
1. Flowering Pear in backyard on north side.
2. Flowering Pear in front yard by garage. (LOST and replaced)
3. Japanese flowering cherry
4 and 5: 2 Lindens that I espalier'd
6. A Dawn Redwood from Earth Day 2017 (LOST and replaced)
7. Nat's Saucer Magnolia in our front yard
8. A Corkscrew Willow all the way in the back (LOST)
9. A Crimson King Norway Maple near the trampoline
2018 (17 planted. 2 Died and weren't replaced yet. 2 were replacement from 2017. 15 of the original annual total alive now):
10. Another flowering pear from Earth Day 2018
11. Red Maple Sun Valley tree from Earth Day 2018.
12. Weeping Cedar tree - our first evergreen.
13. The weeping flowering cherry tree that the Babe planted for Earth Day 2018.
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. These Frans Fontaine Hornbeams.
22. A replacement Chanticleer Pear tree (3" caliper) out front by our garage
23. Our second evergreen - a short Fraser Fir Christmas Tree out by the trampoline. (LOST)
24. This Canadian Hemlock that is the first of nine that our landscape plan calls for in the backyard. (LOST)
25. Our replanted/replacement Dawn Redwood. Same spot as the first.
26. This teeny-tiny Bald Cypress that I planted in the front yard, in between our driveway and our neighbor to the north.

Taking away the eight Frans Fontaine Hornbeams, we planted nine other trees in 2018. Let's use that as the average/mean for the first two years. In 2019, I know we'll plant at least the three Earth Day trees, but I'm not sure we'll get to 9.  A guy can hope, right?  But, certainly with this Chinese Proverb in the back of my mind, I'm cognizant that we need to use these early years in our home to get the tree situation set up properly so we can enjoy the mature trees as our children grow.


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