I’m John Thorburn with Tri-Basin NRD and this is the Natural Resources Report. Arbor Day was celebrated last week. I hope that you are able to plant a tree or shrub this spring. Before you do that, keep in mind that planting a tree is a long-term commitment. Trees can add value to your property, but they can also become a liability. Make sure that you get the right plant for your place and purpose. Before you buy a tree, find out how big it will eventually grow, so that you don’t end up with a big tree too close to your house, power lines, or other trees. Also be sure to think about whether you want your tree to provide shade, block wind, or simply add color and beauty to your landscape. Experts also advise that you should plant the smallest tree that you can stand, not the largest tree that you can afford. A small tree won’t suffer from transplant shock, so it will start growing right away, but a large tree might take a couple years to adjust to its new surroundings
Also be sure to dial before you dig. Call the Nebraska Digger’s hotline toll-free at the number 811 at least two days before you plant your tree. You don’t want to cut your phone line or, worse yet, run into a natural gas line when you dig a hole for your tree.
Once you have selected a tree that suits your purpose and you have a site that is safe for digging, you can dig a hole. Don’t dig the hole any deeper than the tree’s roots or its container. On the other hand, the hole should be dug at least six inches wider than the container, so that the roots can grow outward into loose soil.
If you have questions about planting trees and shrubs contact your local NRD office. I’m John Thorburn for Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts, protecting lives, property and the future since 1972.