Planting for 5- and 15-gallon trees
- Lightly loosen or shave root ball to ensure roots grow outward and do not circle (see online workshop mentioned above for more details)
- Native soil backfill
- Build “watering ring” to allow or at least 1-2” of water to pool on top of the rootball of the tree when full
- Sturdy and compacted “watering ring” to allow for deep irrigation though the depth of the root ball after planting, and to be maintained if you will be continuing to water with a hose
Note: Proper staking and tying of trees that require staking is essential to establish a strong tree that has the best chance of resting damage during strong winds. See ”Installation and Establishment for California Native and Waterwise Gardens” workshop for more details.
In most situations, tree stakes should be firmly inserted into the soil about two feet from the main trunk of the tree, parallel with the main direction of winds on the site, and should use “figure eight” shaped ties with proper tree tie material and tree stakes available from a local landscape supply store. For local locations in the western San Bernardino County area, see our Local Landscape Suppliers List, here. A post pounder will be needed to properly install tree stakes.
Ties should be applied as low on the trunk as possible to support the tree as needed, but to allow the tree to move in the breeze to establish strength. If the tree came with a stake attached to it in the nursery pot, remove it during the process of properly setting these longer-term stakes and ties. Remove stakes and ties as soon as the tree has developed the strength to stand on its own, often after 1-2 years, depending on the size and structure of the tree at the time of planting. The stakes and ties are like a crutch, and they should be on no longer than they need to be so that the tree can continue to better develop structural strength on its own.