17 august, 2009

Click @ Tree

How to plant a tree If this is your first tree planting adventure and you feel like you need a bit of guidance on how to start, you are in the right place! This section will give you step-by-step instructions on everything you need to consider. Although, we would love seeing trees on every corner of every street, please check on the planting regulations in your city before you start digging. If you can't find that perfect green spot in your neighbourhood for your tree's new home check out the Planting Activities / Sites section. Here, you will find information on the tree growing initiatives near you.
Where should I plant my tree? When planting a tree, first of all, you have to know where to plant it. In your garden, of course, it's allowed to plant a tree. But you cannot just plant a tree wherever you like. It is illegal to plant a tree on someone else's private property without their permission. Meanwhile, sometimes it is possible to plant trees on government grounds. To do so, get permission from the state or the regional government and ask where it would be best to plant your tree.
What kind of tree should I plant? The first 5.000 participants in the "Click a Tree" initiative will receive an "Euonymus europeus" seedling. However, you can also participate with a different type of tree, which you aquire yourself. You also have to be careful about what kind of tree you are going to plant, as not every kind of tree can adapt to the environmental conditions. The easiest tree to handle is a fruit tree. To get more information on suitable trees for your area, you can also ask a forester or local arborist. Check out more links on the particularities of tree planting in your country.  How well your tree develops is dependent on various factors such as: the type of tree, the location you select for planting, the care taken in planting the tree and the follow-up care you provide. Weather conditions are also important for the development of the tree. The perfect time to plant a tree is in spring.
How do I plant a tree? The steps below will guide you through the process of planting a tree, as well as providing instructions on how to care for its health. These instructions refer to the planting of trees in general. The seedlings distributed by the European Commission will be accompanied by special planting instructions.
1. Dig a wide, shallow hole. Digging a wide, shallow hole is important, as the roots will have to push through the soil surrounding the root ball in order to develop. Therefore the hole should be as deep as the root ball is tall and at least three times its diameter.
2. Leave the end of the tree trunk (trunk flare) visible.  The end of the tree trunk, just above where the root ball has developed, should be left visible. Therefore you may have to remove some soil from the lower part of the tree trunk after you have planted the tree. This is important as this is where the roots start to develop. Always lift the tree by the root ball and never by the trunk!
3. Before filling the hole, straighten the tree. After you have placed the tree in the hole make sure that the tree is standing straight up into the air. It is really difficult to reposition the tree after you have started filling in the hole, so check it first! 
4. Filling the hole.  The hole must be filled firmly but gently. The soil has to be placed around the base of the root ball. Remove any plastic, string or fabric from the trunk and root ball to ease the growth of the root system. You also have to be careful to eliminate all air pockets as they could dry out the roots. Therefore you can also add a little water to the soil while filling the hole. 
5. Follow-up care.  Make sure that the roots are always moist. You will need to water the tree regularly. You also may have to remove damaged branches from the tree.

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