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Tree Planting Tips

Spruce up your lawn with added peace of mind

Planting & caring for new trees is rooted in benefits

Trees and shrubs add beauty to your lawn while providing food and natural habitats for local wildlife, replacing canopy lost to storm damage, and reducing soil erosion that helps protect the environment. Not only that, but trees also provide cooling shade that can help lower your energy bill – so it’s important that we take care of them. Consider the helpful advice below from the EPB Energy Pro Arborists on choosing, planting and caring for new trees.

Working to prevent power outages in Chattanooga at EPB

It’s best to choose trees that are native to our area.

The climate, soil conditions and sunshine we get can make a big difference in a tree’s overall health. So choosing a species of indigenous tree is important. They’ve adapted to our environmental conditions, they flower more beautifully, and they naturally change with the seasons. Plus, local trees provide food and natural habitats for the birds, insects and other wildlife.

Choosing the right tree

EPB Energy Pro Arborists’ top 10 favorite trees native to our area:

  1. Sugar Maple (large, fast growing)
  2. Tulip Poplar (large, fast growing)
  3. Red Maple (large, fast growing)
  4. Eastern Redbud (medium, fast growing)
  5. White Dogwood (small, slow growing)
  6. Sourwood (small, slow growing)
  7. Southern Red Oak (large, fast growing)
  8. American Holly (medium, slow growing)
  9. White Oak (large, fast growing)
  10. America Beech (large, slow growing)

Fall & Spring are perfect for planting!

The best times of year to plant are in the Fall after the leaves fall and early Spring before the buds break. The milder temperatures enable roots to get well-established before harsh weather sets in. Early Fall planting naturally results in earlier Spring blooming of flowering trees and plants. And, cool autumn weather helps eliminate pests such as weeds, diseases and insects that can hinder new growth.

Plant properly with these helpful step-by-step instructions.

  • Water your tree every other day while it’s in a container.
  • Plant in the fall or early spring, so trees can establish roots before harsh weather.
  • Find out how tall your tree will mature, and plant it that same distance away from your home, power lines and equipment.
  • Locate utilities by looking up for overhead power lines, and calling 811 to find any buried utilities.
  • Dig a saucer-shaped hole twice as wide as the tree’s container. The hole should be deep enough that the base of the trunk is even with the ground.
  • Remove the plastic or burlap from around the root ball before placing it in the hole.
  • Gently fill in with an even mixture of topsoil and the soil you dug up.
  • Lightly compact the soil using your hands or feet.
  • Cover with 2-3 inches deep of mulch, pine straw or compost to hold in moisture and protect the roots.
  • Water thoroughly after planting, and fairly often for the first few months.

Caring for trees helps maintain their beauty, and health.

Whether newly-planted or fully-mature, all trees can benefit from care that helps them thrive as beautiful and majestic treasures for many years to come. Try these helpful tips for maintaining tree health:

  • Water often — If you have a newly-planted tree, or if it just hasn’t rained in a while, saturate the entire root zone around the base of the tree every few days.
  • Fertilize when needed — Young trees, and mature trees that have yellowing foliage, may need the special attention of added nutrients. Ask your local nursery or an EPB Energy Pro Arborist for advice.
  • Protect the trunk — Keep lawn equipment and vehicles from chipping away bark. This weakens trees structurally, and makes it more susceptible to storm damage. Plus, exposed trees invite disease and insects.
  • Control pests — Insects like Japanese Beetles, Adelgids and Caterpillars can seriously damage and weaken trees. Ask your local nursery or an EPB Energy Pro Arborist for the best pest-control options.
  • Prune when needed — as the tree grows, prune any dead limbs so they can’t divert water and nutrients away from the healthy limbs.

Why We Prune

Our arborists maintain vegetation to prevent outages during storms.

Where to Plant

Anticipating future growth is key to proper planting at your home.