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Plant a Tree-
Build Good Community,
Beautify Your Neighborhood

A TREE PLANTING is a great way to beautify your yard and neighborhood. When you decide to plant a tree invite the neighbors, especially the kids, to learn how it’s done. Find a friendly neighborhood landscaper and have her help you. They might be willing to donate the time for the chance of making future business contacts.

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY BUILDING - To consider ways to turn your tree planting into a community building event see Earth Day on Your Block. Also see sample invitation.

CHOOSING A TREE - Choose a tree that is indigenous to the area where you live. Next it is helpful to choose a tree that thrives under the conditions that your site provides, Is your site rocky, flat, on a slope, wet, etc? Your state conservation department can help with this information.

CHOOSING A SITE - The small tree you plant will grow. You should know how large it will get. Will the branches reach power lines? Will a limb eventually hang over your house? Will the roots buckle your sidewalk or effect your foundation? Ask a local nursery.

LANDSCAPING PLAN - Look into state backyard wildlife programs through your conservation departments. Check out Landscaping with Native Plants on the Wild Ones site or see the story of the Urban Wilderness on this site.

TREE PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS - Go here for the Missouri Department of Conservation tree planting instructions. You can download instructions from their site.

  • The hole: Excavate a pit which is at least twice the diameter of the rootball and the same depth--no deeper. For best root development, enlarge the planting area by removing existing turf, then spading or tilling soil in a wide ring. Handle the tree by the rootball, not the trunk. Be sure the rootball or container soil rests on solid ground. Carefully cut twine wrapped around the stem at the top of the rootball. Remove burlap from the top of the rootball to prevent wicking of moisture from the soil. Remove completely any plastic burlap or container.

  • Backfill soil: Backfill the pit with chopped excavated soil. Use local topsoil for backfill if excavated soil is of poor quality. Discard rocks and debris.

  • Water: Saturate the entire backfilled soil with water. Add more soil if needed to compensate for settling.

  • Mulch: Cover smoothed soil with 3 inches of wood or bark chips. Leave a small gap near the trunk. Keep mulch weeded. Replace as needed.

  • Pruning: Remove only broken or badly deformed branches. Begin a regular pruning program the second or third year after planting.

The following procedures are optional:

  • Stakes: Stakes may be used to prevent shifting of the rootball or to protect the stem from mowing equipment. Drive one or more stakes near the tree but not through the roots.

  • Ties: If ties are used to prevent shifting, place them low on the stem and with slack in the tie material. Wires should be placed through tubing or hose sections to prevent damage to the bark. Flexible plastic ties are available. Remove ties as soon as the tree can stand alone--about 3 months, or longer if needed.

  • Trunk wrap: Trunk wrapping may help to prevent damage from sun exposure. Use a stretchable wrapping material. Do not allow wrap or binding to constrict the stem. Remove wrap during mild weather.

These procedures may be used for planting in relatively uncompacted soils, or where water will percolate through the topsoil layer.



Come to a block ceremonial tree planting in front of
5615 Charlotte, Sunday, May 18th at 5:00 PM

Especially for children and those interested in learning how to plant and care for a tree.

Landscaper Les Cline will be on hand to talk about the planting. If each child would bring piece of natural fiber string or yarn (6"-8" in length), they may hang it on the tree. It is a way of taking part, wishing the tree well and supplying birds with nesting material If it can be arranged, we will sing a song together.

For further information call Marty at 361-1230.



The 5600 Block of Charlotte gathered around a tree planting while Les Cline of Teachers Landscaping told neighbors how to plant a tree and answered questions. The children got to help dig the hole with small shovels and fill it in after the tree was set. Everyone was invited to hang short lengths of natural fiber yarn on the branches as a welcome to the tree and for nest building birds to use in construction. For information on how to organize a community tree planting on your block call Heartland All Species Project at 361-1230.

(Another place to plant and enjoy trees in Kansas City is at the Heart Forest.)

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