Planting mistakes #2

After identifying the right tree to plant in the right place, it is the actual planting process that is important.

The most common mistake is planting at the wrong level.

Essentially the trunk of the tree is designed by nature to be above ground and the roots (just) below the ground.  It sounds simple, but planting too deep is a very common (often fatal) error.

There is a line on the rootballed/container grown tree where the soil level was in the nursery. This is correct 99.9% of the time.

This line cannot be planted below ground level. It can be planted very slightly above.  Firstly the trunk is not designed to be below the ground level, it will rot and can be a place for disease to enter.  Secondly roots need to breathe (undertake a gaseous exchange), plant too deep, they have increased problems breathing.

If the soil can become waterlogged, it could be appropriate (after choosing the right species for these conditions) to plant slightly above the ground level, to allow some of the roots to breathe when waterlogging occurs.  Dress the exposed sides of the  rootball with topsoil to allow the roots to encompass these areas.