Angie's List: Planting a Tree - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Angie's List: Planting a Tree

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MADISON (WKOW/ANGIE'S LIST) -- As we enter the fall season a lot of us are looking to the trees, wondering when the leaves will change.  But did you know fall can also be a great time to plant a tree?

Some types to very well this time of year and many nurseries are offering great prices to reduce their inventory before winter hits.

Trees can help beautify your home and overall landscape, but they do require careful planning.

"Trees are a great asset," said Angie's List Owner, Angie Hicks. "They can add up to 15% to the value of your home if they are well-maintained. But when planning and planting, you need to be sure you're accounting for what they will be like when they are full grown. Sometimes, people make the mistake of planting them too close to their driveway or to their home, which could cause their driveway to buckle or their foundation to crack."

"The most important thing really is the framework of the tree, the wood part," said Nursery Owner, Jeff Gatewood. "A good, clean, straight trunk and a good even branching habit. More important than anything else is the framework because it's going to be there year after year. A common mistake is the planting depth. The top of the soil in these pots should be exactly level with the soil in your lawn or even a tiny bit above, a tiny bit above won't hurt. If you go a little below, like an inch or two too deep, it's going to eventually kill the tree probably."

"Before planting a tree, the first thing you want to do is call 8-1-1 which is a free service that will come out and mark where your utilities are in your yard," said Hicks. "That way you don't run the risk of cutting an utility line which could upset your neighbors if you end up cutting their electricity."

"You never want the grass to grow around the trunk of the tree," said Gatewood. "Always take out a big circle of sod, four to six feet in diameter, plant the tree in the middle, mulch it. You'll see these big cones of mulch piled up along the trees and that is really bad for the tree because what happens is where the bark and the mulch, the mulch is up around the bark, it stays moist, it brings insects in and causes rot. It's very bad for the tree to do that. The mulch should never come in contact with the trunk."

"If planting trees is not a DIY project for you, consult with a certified arborist," said Hicks. "They can help you pick the right type of trees for your yard and plant them. Do keep in mind some states do require licensing for arborists. Check if your state is one of them."

Here are a few more tips:
-If you need help selecting and planting trees, a certified arborist can help guide you. Check for membership in professional organizations, such as the International Society of Arboriculture.
-Once you've scouted a location, call 811 to schedule an underground utility inspection. The service is available nationwide at no cost to the homeowner. Otherwise, you risk digging through a utility line, potentially knocking out power to your neighborhood.
-Avoid planting trees that will grow large under power lines or other trees.
And fruit-bearing trees should be kept away from any pavement because the fruit will stain.

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