PROMO 660 x 440 Outdoors - Red Spruce Tree

Does Spring have you inspired to plant a tree or two? An expert says do your homework before you start digging. Gary Crawford has more. 

Audio file

PARTICIPANTS: Gary Crawford and Ward Upham, retired Kansas State University Extension horticulture expert.


Today I'm coming to you from my front yard where spring Yep, spring I get it spring has me in its embrace has me in the mood to plant a tree.

And I have been looking over the yard here, and there is a nice empty spot right over there It's just ready for a nice tree to go in there.

But I have discovered that the process involves more than going to a store, buying a tree digging a hole, plopping the tree in it ,and going inside for lemonade.

So, on the speakerphone here with me, I've got Kansas State University extension expert Ward Upham to help me out, and I am in treemendous need of some help.

No problem.

Okay, maybe a problem.

You don't know yet I have been told of course that I need to be pretty careful about what kind of tree to buy.

Not just any old tree will do.

Advice that I need to know what kind of trees will do well in in the area here in these soils and in this space here right

Yeah, that is really important, and so what you want to do is talk to your local nurseryman.

Going to your local accounting extension office and see what they recommend.

So, I can't just bop down to my local home center or box store and pick up a tree.

If you go into some of the big box stores, they're going to have trees that were chosen for all over the United States.

They may not be well adapted to your area, and they may not take quite as good a care of it as somebody that has a nursery or a garden center, and so if you go to local nurseryman, they're going to know what does well, okay?

And I guess I need to do more homework get some idea of how big this tree is going to get.

They would usually tell you on the tag.

You know, what its final height’s going to be and what final widths going to be, yeah?

I think I need to know that because now that I look at it that spot over there.

I don't know.

It might be a problem to put a tree in there.

A problem 10 or 15 years down the road, right?

Yeah, that's the other thing.

You need to really choose a place where you can envision what it's going to look like, what is mature.

So people put it right next to a sidewalk, not thinking that in 20 years it may break that sidewalk up.

Or they put it too close to the house.

That's another really common thing and so you really have to be careful on where you place that tree, okay?

Well, thanks for the help, and I'm going to let you go now and this weekend I'm going to go to my local nursery pick out a tree.

A tree that will not accept the status quo.

A tree that will want to go out on a limb and branch out.

Okay, well it wasn't it wasn't that it wasn't that funny.

Next time the physical art of digging holes and planting trees.

This is Gary Crawford reporting from my front yard for the US Department of Agriculture