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Debunking 2 Myths About Planting a New Tree in Your Yard

Gardener planting a tree
Providing proper care and maintenance for the trees in your lawn is of the utmost importance, as trees have been demonstrated to improve the property value of a home by up to 20%. Of course, it is just as important that you take care of those trees in the right way. Homeowners who give their trees the wrong type of attention often end up facing sick, diseased, and even dead trees.

For that reason, one of the most important things you can do for the trees on your property is to educate yourself about what you should and shouldn't be doing for them. If you would like to dispel some commonly held myths about tree care, read on. This article will set the record straight regarding two fallacious myths about adding a new tree to your yard.

1. Always Buy the Largest Tree

Whether your yard already contains several stately trees, or is as bare as a blank canvas, adding a well placed new tree is almost always a good idea--especially once you've done all the nitty-gritty work of deciding what species you want to invest in. All you need to do now is to head to the nursery to pick out your new tree.

At this point, many people blunder into a common bad decision: taking home the largest, tallest, bushiest tree they can find. They assume that the size of the tree gives it the best chance of flourishing in their yard. Yet in many cases, quite the opposite thing will occur.

The problem here has to do with the roots of the tree. You see, larger trees have larger root balls. This may not seem like a problem until you realize that the larger a root ball is, the longer it will take for it to spread out and begin establishing itself in your yard. This lag period makes the tree more likely to succumb to both drought and disease.

The wisest thing you can do is select a small to a moderately-sized tree that appears to be in good health. Such trees will be able to establish themselves more quickly within the ecosystem of your yard, thus giving themselves a better chance of long-term survival.

2. Be Sure to Stake Young Trees

Another common mistaken belief people have when planting a new tree in your yard is to support the tree with all manner of stakes and anchoring lines. They figure that this is the best strategy for ensuring a tree will grow tall and straight. The fact, however, is that only a very small percentage of trees require staking once they're planted. 

If you live in an area with incredibly high wind speeds, staking may be appropriate. It may also be wise if you are planting an especially stunted or weak tree--something you should avoid doing in the first place! In all other cases, staking a tree is simply not necessary.

Moreover, staking can actually stunt the proper development of a young tree. For one thing, those support wires can permanently damage the trunk of the tree, effectively cutting off its circulation as it attempts to grow outward. It will also keep the tree from establishing a broad, strong root system.

Finally, staking a tree may also end up leading to a weaker trunk. Part of a tree's normal development involves its responses to environmental stimuli--in this case, the wind. As a young tree sways back and forth in the wind, its own natural defenses are stimulated, leading to the development of a strong, thick trunk. A tree propped up with stakes will simply be too "spoiled" to develop its own inner strength.

Planting a new tree in your yard is a great decision, both for the beauty of your property and for its long-term value. Just be sure to make the right decisions when picking out and planting your tree. If you would like more professional advice, please don't hesitate to contact the experts at Imperial Tree.