Tens of thousands of families throughout the world have planted The Living Urn to create a living tree memorial and honor a loved one. This is part two of a blog published last week related to tree selection and planting tips for a tree burial. In this blog, we provide insights into planting with the tree urn and ongoing care for the memorial.
Choosing a Location to Plant
Before planting, carefully consider the location of your new tree and the space that it will eventually take up. Twenty or thirty years seems like a long time away, however, you will be surprised as to how fast they fill the space. Also, do a quick internet search on your tree and make sure the soil and sunlight of your location fit the needs of the beautiful memorial you will be planting.
What Kind of Soil?
Trees love quality soil that is well drained and nutrient rich. However, it can also be beneficial for your tree to get used to the native soil where you are planting as the roots will soon expand all around under the plating site. One thing you can do is to mix some organic soil/compost with your native soil around the newly planted tree roots. We do not recommend using any chemical fertilizers for the first year or two and the rich soil will provide all the nutrients needed to support tree life.
Use a Stake
We provide a stake with all of our trees. The stake is placed next to your newly planted tree and they are tied together. The stake serves to support your young tree and keep it upright as it puts down its new roots and gets anchored to its new home. If you purchase a tree from a local nursery, be sure to get a stake to support it while it roots in. This will protect it from high winds and storms and keep it upright until it is established and ready to support itself
Mulch is the best friend of a newly planted tree for a number of reasons. Think of mulch of a natural forest floor you are creating - forest floors are full of leaves, pine needles, branches and debris that serve as a natural mulch. Mulching insulates the soil, keeping the temperature around the roots from fluctuating when the weather gets really hot or really cold. Also, mulch helps the soil retain water to keep the soil around the roots moist. In addition, it helps stop many weeds from growing and therefore prevents root competition. Mulch also helps prevent soil compaction.
After planting, cover a 3 to 5 foot circle area around the tree with plenty of mulch. The mulch should be distributed evenly with a flat surface. Make sure all the grass and any weeds are completely removed from the area before laying the mulch. Wood chips or bark pieces are great choices. Be sure to apply plenty so they are a few inches deep throughout the whole area. Also, it is very important that you leave a few inches of space between the trunk and the mulch as you do not want the mulch to touch the tree trunk. With every Living Urn, we provide premium aged wood chips as a reminder to ensure families perform this very important step.
For more details on proper mulching, click here.
Watering the Tree
Watering your tree is one of the most important parts of tree care. Due to differences in local climates and seasonal weather fluctuations, it is difficult to advise exactly how much water to give your tree. Here are a few guidelines that will help:
Water a newly planted tree generously immediately after you plant. Typically, a steady stream of water from a standard garden hose for about 30 seconds is a good amount.
During the First Two Years
Your tree is working hard during the first couple of growing seasons to expand and establish its roots in the soil so it can become self-sufficient. Therefore, it needs your help with watering during this time, especially during the first two summers after planting when it is hot and dry out. Also, make sure you keep your tree mulched very well over this period to insulate and keep the soil moist to a depth that includes the entire root system.
When to Water and How Much?
Of course, not enough water can be harmful to your tree, but it is important to understand that too much water can be harmful as well. Actually, watering too much is one of the most common mistakes people make. Although this may seem a little confusing, don’t be intimidated. All you need to do is water with the objective of keeping the soil, to a depth that covers the entire root system, moist or damp for as much of the time as possible. You do not want soggy or saturated soil where you see standing water. If the soil is saturated, adequate oxygen cannot permeate the soil and reach the roots.
Here’s how to check if you need to water:
- Gently insert a garden trowel into the soil next to your tree to a depth of about 2 inches and then carefully move it back and forth to make a small hole (you don’t want to hurt the roots)
- Place your finger in the hole - if the soil is dry, add some water; and if it is moist, then it doesn’t need any water for the time being.
Click here to view a blog with additional information related to watering your memory tree.
If you decide to prune your tree, proper technique is important for its health. When to prune is also an important consideration. You can remove dead wood or do some very light pruning anytime. It is generally best to prune during the winter when your tree is dormant, and furthermore, it is generally best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed, if possible. Also, Fall is not a good time to prune as fungi spread their spores in the Fall and this can slow the healing of the cuts. These general rules can vary among species but are helpful as guidelines.
Grow a Living Memory Today!
Proper tree planting and care isn’t difficult as long as you follow the instructions provided with The Living Urn and any specific tree related care and site selection requirements. You can easily grow a beautiful living memory of a loved one with a tree urn by simply following a few simple steps.