Mid-American Gardener

Branching Out: Planning and Caring for Newly Planted Trees


This week, we begin to welcome autumn as Sarah Vogel joins us in the studio to discuss the benefits of planting trees in the fall along with general care and maintenance suggestions.

Trees are so valuable in both your yard and the greater landscape, but they are also a significant investment in time, money, and resources. This episode will help point you in the right direction as you consider adding trees to your landscape, but of course, if you’ve got more questions, please send them to yourgarden@gmail.com or find us on Facebook!

While many people assume planting trees in the spring would be most successful, Sarah recommends planting in the fall because of these benefits:

  • Adequate rainfall, reduced risk of drought
  • Cooler temperatures; roots require less moisture
  • Reduced risk of insect pests and disease
  • Soil settles over winter and roots still grow

After deciding that you’d like to add a tree to your yard, Sarah recommends these considerations before purchasing and planting:

What conditions will your tree be exposed to?
- Light
- Soil test for nutrients, clay/silt, and pH
- Drainage
Location - pruning
- Are there utility lines?
- Is it close to a building or sight line at a road or intersection?
Species selection
- What is the mature size? Is there enough space?
- Diversify your yard; what species do you already have in your yard?
Select a quality specimen
- How is your tree being sold? Bare root? Ball and burlap? Container?
- Are the leaves healthy? Branches and stems?
Install properly
- Correct depth; don’t plant too deep
Maintenance & Aftercare
- Mulching: it’s important, but think bagel, not muffin. Don’t pile mulch right against the stem. Instead, leave a few inches bare to protect against rot and insect infestations.
- Don’t over fertilize
- Water, water, water for the first few years.

Sarah also answers your questions about how to get thicker foliage on a rhododendron, how to revive Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick, and why a viewer’s sky pencil hollies keep dying.

If you have questions (Be sure to send photos if you have them!), we’ve got you covered. Send questions to yourgarden@gmail.com, or check out our Facebook page and feel free to leave your questions there! We will try to get it answered on an upcoming show or web segment!

Plus, you can follow us on Instagram for more exciting content!

Episode 1205 - August 18, 2022


Air Dates and Times

Channel Day Time
WILL-TV, Urbana Thursday 7 pm (live)
  Saturday 11 am (repeat)
WTVP-TV, Peoria Saturday 11:30 am
WEIU-TV, Charleston Sunday 1:30 pm
WSEC-TV, Springfield Saturday 11 am
WQEC-TV, Quincy Saturday 11 am
WMEC-TV, Macomb Saturday 11 am
Lakeshore PBS, Chicago/Northwest Indiana Friday 1 pm

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