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Appropriate Hole Dimensions

Trees provide beauty, shade, and tremendous value to your landscape. Taking care of your trees is no small task, especially if you are planting a new tree or transplanting a tree to a new location in your yard. The expert arborists at Hamlin Tree Care, Inc provide consultations and planting services that can ensure your undertaking is successful.

The most vital part of a tree is the part we hardly ever see. Roots play a critical role in the development and health of a tree, so taking care of them is essential if you want to have a vibrant, resilient tree. If you are planning to plant a new tree or transplant an existing one, you’ll want to take great care of the roots. Usually hidden away beneath the soil, roots aren’t used to being the center of attention, but they need to be during the planting process. The fact that roots are exposed during the tree installation process makes them vulnerable, but the main reason you want to keep them in mind when planting a tree is so that you understand how large to make the hole. We have listed below the most frequently asked questions from our clients about how to take care of roots during the planting process. If you still have further questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to call Hamlin Tree Care, Inc at (512) 484-0252.

What Are Common Problems to Avoid?

  • Making the hole too small: Without sufficient space to spread, roots can become root-bound. This condition is detrimental to the whole health of the tree because it stunts its growth. To maintain optimum health, trees must have a proper proportion between roots and branches. If the roots don’t have room to spread out by being planted in a hole that’s too small, the branches will eventually be affected and stunted in their growth.
  • Planting the root ball too deep in the hole: According to Colorado State University, this is the most common mistake that people make when planting their trees. Called trunk girdling, this mistake leads to 57% of all tree deaths.
  • Making the hole too narrow: Another common pitfall that people make when planting trees is not digging the hole wide enough. It is easy to think that the hole’s width should match the root ball, but this fails to take into account how much room roots need to grow. Making the hole too small deters the growth of the roots and ultimately leads to the tree’s failure to thrive.

Guidelines for Proper Hole Dimensions

To avoid the mistakes mentioned above, the experienced arborists at Hamlin Tree Care, Inc have created the following guidelines:

  • The proper depth of a hole depends on the size of the tree’s root ball and trunk. For a one-inch caliper tree, the root ball should sit one inch above the soil. For a larger tree, the root ball should sit at least two inches above the soil. The top of the root ball needs to have contact with the air and not be covered by soil to allow water and air absorption into the roots. Covering up the root ball completely with soil reduces the oxygen levels in the soil. This worsens the shock that already occurs to tree roots whenever they are disturbed and placed in a new environment.
  • The proper width of the hole is approximately three times the size of the root ball. Equally important to the width is the shape of the hole that you make. Digging a saucer-shaped hole ensures that if roots cannot penetrate the deeper soil, they can spread upward into more oxygen-rich soil that is closer to the surface.

Do I Need an Arborist?

Considering the many factors involved in planting a tree, it is best to have the experience of a local arborist to assist you. For almost a decade, the certified arborists at Hamlin Tree Care, Inc have been helping people in the Austin area enjoy the most beautiful trees possible. Beginning with the planning stage, they can assist you in calculating the proper hole dimensions for your tree’s optimum health. Not all nursery trees come properly packaged or taken care of, so having an arborist on hand to diagnose your new tree’s health and adjust the planting guidelines to match your tree’s unique root ball is extremely helpful.

Why Choose Hamlin Tree Care, Inc?

The ISA-certified arborists at Hamlin Tree Care, Inc are available to meet all of your tree installation needs. Whether you are taking care of existing trees or choosing and planting new trees, you can rely on the knowledge and experience of our local arborists to help you have the most beautiful trees possible. Call us today at (512) 484-0252 and find out why we are the premier tree planting and care service in Austin.

Have a question? Give us a call at (512) 484-0252!