Briefly expressed, the use of ornamental trees and shrubs for the embellishment of a scene must be along lines that are both esthetic and practical. The selection of a particular plant or group of plants for a given position should be for the reason that it best suits that place, a point to be determined by a careful study of the best principles of landscape design. Simplicity and repose should be keynotes. Avoid the use of too many varieties and only as isolated specimens should abnormally shaped plants be admitted. Groups should consist of carefully selected units, all blending to make a pleasing whole.
From a practical viewpoint the success of any planting depends largely on the vigor and robustness with which the plants grow. Select plants best suited to the physical conditions in the locality. With splendid assortments to choose from in every section it is decidedly wrong to waste time and effort in trying to nurse along plants unsuited to local conditions.
All plantings should be preceded by careful preparation of the soil. Lawn trees are permanent features and as such every detail of the planting should have close attention. This will insure a healthy growth and proper development.
Holes for trees should be at least a foot wider than the spread of the roots and at least twenty-four inches deep, unless for a large specimen, when it should be proportionately deeper.
In heavy clay soil, where the water is apt to collect and remain, the holes should be dug deep enough to afford good drainage. If the clay extends some depth proper drainage may be insured by placing broken stone in the bottom of the holes.
Tree holes should be made as large or larger at the bottom than they are at the top (Figs. 105 and 106). Too often holes just the reverse are prepared.
All broken or bruised roots should be cut off clean.
Holes should be sufficiently large to allow of spreading all roots in a natural position.
Good soil should be provided for the planting, and very dry and fine soil worked in carefully around the roots and thoroughly tamped so that no spaces remain.
Avoid planting too deeply (Fig. 107). Trees should be set just a very little lower than they have been growing in the nursery.
Avoid mounding up right around the stem after planting (Fig. 108). When this little hump gets dry and hard it makes a shed for that water which should penetrate to the roots.
A slight depression is much better and provides a cup for holding the moisture (Fig. 109). After planting, a good mulching over the root areas will conserve the moisture and greatly benefit the tree.
If the tree is three or five inches or more in caliper set wire stays to keep it straight and to protect against any loosening of the roots (Fig. 110).
The tops of all trees should be reduced at least one-third by pruning back when transplanting. This will overcome somewhat the loss of feeding roots and conserve the amount of sap in the trees until new feeding roots are formed.
Fig. 105. - Tree holes should be as large or larger at the bottom than at the top so as to allow ample space for spreading out the roots. - See page 115.
Fig. 106. - The way many tree holes are dug, making it necessary to cramp the roots when planting. - See page 115.
Fig. 1 07. - Tree planted too deeply. Trees should be set just a little lower than when they were growing in the nurseries. - See page 115.
TREE PLANTING Fig. 108. - Avoid mounding up around the stem after planting. Give the rain a chance to percolate through to the roots. - See page 115.