In Palo Pinto County, planting trees in the fall gives them a nice long growth period to prepare for hot summers.
Before buying a tree, several things should be considered.
What is the purpose of the tree? Shade? Spring or summer blooms? Fall foliage? Winter interest?
What will be the mature height and width of the tree? There are right and wrong places to plant a tree.
How is the root ball packaged? Container grown, balled and wrapped in burlap or bare root?
By knowing the purpose yet not knowing which trees are right for Palo Pinto County, ask a nurseryman or call the Palo Pinto County Extension Office, 940-659-1228.
When choosing a location, consider the mature size of the tree, light availability and the area that will be shaded by the tree. The area must allow for healthy root ball growth. Do not plant too close to a structure, power line, concrete driveway or street or in front of the home's most important focal point.
Trees available at most local nurseries have been grown in containers. This makes the tree easier to transport and reduces transplant shock. However, the roots may have girdled - followed the inside curve of the container. When the tree is removed from the container, the roots along the outside of the root ball should be gently cut to stimulate new outward growth. If girdling is not stopped, it is likely the roots will never establish proper spread and the tree's life can be shortened.
A balled and burlapped tree has been grown in the ground.
When the nursery digs it up, a ball of dirt containing the roots is kept intact by wrapping it with burlap and a wire cage. This wrapping must be protected during transportation and planting. When the tree is planted, the wire cage is removed, but the burlap can be left in place.
Some trees are sold "bare root." These are usually planted in the dead of winter while the tree is dormant. The nursery removes the soil it was grown in and packs it in sawdust or other packing material that will protect the roots. If you dig the tree yourself, transport the tree with protection on the roots. Before planting, the tree needs to be re-hydrated by soaking in water. The hole must be large enough to allow the roots to be placed in the same pattern in which they were growing.