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Gardening 101: Plant A Tree In Honor Of 'Texas Arbor Day'

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Friday November 6th is Texas Arbor Day. Don't confuse this with National Arbor Day that falls in April of every year. The reason for a different Arbor Day celebration in the Lone Star State? Timing.

You need to remember the next sentence if you are going to live in north Texas. Late Fall is the time to plant a tree. There are many reasons for this but it all has to do with how the tree prepares itself for the upcoming growing season.

We tend to only think about what we see. In gardening these are the flowers we plant, the vegetables or fruits we grow or the trees and shrubs that slowly mature to full size over the years. But the truth is more importantly we are also growing roots. Without the plant establishing a good and healthy root system there is no hope for whatever you plant to survive.

No matter how careful you are, planting a tree is hard on the tree. It has to adapt to a new permanent environment and grow an extensive root system so it can survive wind and heat. It needs time to do that. When you plant in the fall you are giving your tree ample time to spend its energy building and expanding the root system thru the winter. Make sure to keep your tree watered (periodically; you don't nearly have to water as much as you would in the warm season) so it can continue the process all winter and early Spring.

Your tree wakes up out of its dormant state in early Spring. The tree starts to ask the roots for the water and nutrients it needs to start the photosynthesis miracle. With a well-established root system, you greatly increase your success rate for healthy, long-living tree.

There is something so powerful in planting a tree. Because of their long lives and the years-long journey to full size, you get to see in, slow-motion, the effect you can have on this planet. A tree binds carbon from the air and provides oxygen. It shades our homes and parts of our landscape. It becomes a habitat for birds and other living things. It can provide fruit or nuts for decades to come. It is powerful way to grow into your home. Plant a tree with your child as soon as they are of age to remember the event and you'll see what I mean.

Because of this long life you must plant the right tree in the right space. This cannot be stressed enough. How many times have you seen trees growing into power lines? Get too close to a house and its roots disturb the foundation or the water line?

Since deciding on what tree to plant and where is a decision you have to live with for a long time, decide wisely. The Texas A&M Agrilife Tree Selector site is where to start. How big the tree ends up and where

the shade lands are so important in your decision. Over the next month I'll be spending more time talking about trees; the winter is a good time of year to work on them. For more detailed information on how to plant a containerized tree visit the Arbor Day Foundation website. Hope you plant one on Arbor Day or soon after. Trees are a beautiful thing if grown in the right place.



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