It is easy to forget that trees are sensitive, living organisms that come under stress when they are dug from the nursery soil. Tree vigor can only decline until they are planted. Your challenge is to ensure maximum survival and growth by reducing the stresses incurred during the transportation, storage and planting of your Native Maples.
Doing your job well will influence the time required for your trees to re-establish and begin to grow in their new environment. Stresses are cumulative. Each stress adds to all the previous stresses from which the tree may not have yet recovered. It is the cumulative effects of poor handling and care that jeopardizes survival and growth.
THE TRANSPORTATION OR DELIVERY OF YOUR TREES
On their journey from the nursery to the planting hole, your Native Maples can become stressed by exposure to sunlight and rapid heating, lack of moisture if the roots aren’t adequately protected or are allowed to become dry, and physical abuse when handled.
Stressed trees must then divert their efforts from growth to survival, from growing new cells to repairing damaged cells. Repairing damage requires energy which comes from a limited reserve of carbohydrates stored in the roots and stem. This means less energy is available to help the tree establish itself after planting.
Adequate protection must be provided to prevent damage to branches, tree roots or the soil root ball.
- The roots of bare root (BR) trees should be protected when transported by use of a closed van or tarped vehicle with wet straw or other moisture-retaining material covering the roots.
- movement of container-grown, balled and burlapped (B&B) and wire-basket (WB) trees should be restricted to closed vans or well-covered trucks with mesh tarpaulin or similar material for protection from windburn or desiccation.
HANDLING AND STORAGE
The roots of bare root (BR) trees must be kept covered and moist at all times with protected from frost, freezing, sun and wind. Trees are handled carefully by the trunk during unloading and storage activities.
Container-grown trees should be handled by the container only, to reduce risk of damage to the trees.
Balled and burlapped (B&B) and wire basket (WB) trees should be handled with caution to maintain the firmness of the root balls. Trees should not be lifted by the trunk. Lifting equipment may be required when handling larger trees.
During loading and unloading, the transportation and planting, all trees should be protected against damage to the stems and branches. This is applicable especially to larger trees in wire-baskets.
AT THE PLANTING SITE
Plan ahead and decide where your trees will be temporarily stored on site during the planting process.
Temporary storage at your property should provide shaded cover, adequate water to keep roots moist, protection from drying winds and good ventilation. Have water and a moisture-retaining material available to protect the roots when planting bare root trees.
Do not transport fuel or chemicals with the trees.
Maple Leaves Forever (April, 2017) Planting Container-Grown Native Maples [Online] Toronto, ON
Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (Jan, 2017) CANADIAN NURSERY STOCK STANDARDS 2017, Arnold Heuver and Glen Lumis., 9th Edition, [Online] Milton, ON
Landowner Resource Centre (1995), Planning for Tree planting, [Online] OMNR Extension Notes Series
Arbor Day Foundation Tree Planting Guide [Online] Nebraska City, NE 68401