Chicago gardeners, trees and most shrubs can be planted in the Chicago before extreme cold sets in, especially in the city proper. Trees save on heating and cooling costs, cleanse and protect the environment. Planting a tree is the best “Green Thing” you can do for the good of Chicago.
All underground lines need to be marked by local utility companies. If a location passes this test, the next step is to examine the location for above-the-ground power and telephone lines. Small trees (15’-25’) need to be 20’-25’ from the lines. Medium trees (30’-50’) need to be 30’-35’ from power lines. Large trees (60’ and up) need to be 40’-45’ from the lines.
It’s time to plant. Dig a hole two times the width of the container and two inches deeper than the container. Remove the tree from its container and slide it into the hole. Make sure the root flare, where the main roots flare out from the trunk, is ground level. Make sure the tree is straight. Remove about half the burlap from around the root ball. Now fill the hole half-full of soil. Fill the hole completely with water. If the water is absorbed quickly, fill the hole again. While the water is absorbed, lightly prune the tree, if necessary. Check to see that the tree hasn’t shifted. When the water is absorbed, fill the hole completely with soil, and water again. Apply mulch, but keep the mulch two inches from the trunk. Form an embankment around the trunk. If the tree is located in a windy place or has a small root ball, stake it on two opposite sides. Keep the new tree well-watered.
It’s not too late to plant a tree.
Live long and well—garden.
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