In Northern California, winter is an excellent time to plant trees and that’s why we plant so many of them at Image Tree Service, Inc. in Windsor. The rain moistens the soil, making digging easier, and then waters the tree after planting—it is nature’s way of telling us—hey, plant during winter!
All deciduous fruit and nut trees — including apples, plums, peaches, cherries, nectarines, pears, apricots, quinces and walnuts — are available in bare-root form in January. “Bare root” means the soil is washed off the roots, which makes the tree lighter and easier to plant. Commercial growers dig the trees when they are dormant, usually in late December, and ship them to retail nurseries right after Christmas. That’s when you will find the best bare-root selection and quality.
Jeff Kowell, the owner of Image Tree Service has planted 100’s of trees of all types over the years, so if you’re looking for an expert—he’s the man and Image Tree Service is the right company to use. “We work with some of the best growers in northern California and that’s why we always plant healthy trees featuring excellent root development. We’re always examining all of our trees before we plant them and making certain they’re in great condition before we begin on any planting project for any client.”
Kowell makes sure that all of the trees’ feeder roots are in top shape, without kinked, twisted or girdling roots. When bare-root trees are uprooted for sale, the grower aims to preserve a full, dense, spreading root system and that ensures a long, healthy life for the trees.
Finding the right spot to plant a new tree is also crucial, according to Kowell. “We can help our customers to find an ideal location where the tree will have room to grow, with good soil, available water and plenty of sunlight. Some trees, such as fruit trees, do not thrive in shade or in crowded areas close to other trees or buildings and good soil drainage is essential with any tree.”
Here are some helpful tips about finding the best spot for a new tree:
- At Image Tree Service, the experts can find out if there is proper drainage, by digging a hole one to two feet deep. They then fill the hole with water and observe how long it takes to drain. If it does not drain completely overnight, it means that you have inadequate drainage and should not plant a tree in that spot.
- Once the people at Image Tree Service have worked with you to select the right location, they dig a hole large enough to contain all the roots of your tree without crowding or bending. A walnut or pecan tree will probably have a tap root, which means they need a larger hole.
- In some cases, the professionals at Image Tree Service will have to remove any damaged or broken roots before planting and prune back wide-spreading roots if desired.
- To ensure that the roots spread out naturally, Image Tree Service makes sure that the tree’s bud union is at least three inches above soil level to allow for soil settling. This mounding will also provide good drainage around the crown to help prevent root and crown rot.
- Image Tree Service then backfills the hole with the soil you removed when digging the hole, discarding any stones, roots or debris.