Saturday, September 07, 2013

Planting a Sourwood Tree

Out of the nursery pot, showing root ball
 Here is the sourwood tree I bought.

When I bought it at the nursery, I thought these trees had been sitting in the containers for the season.  Taking out of the pot, I see that's not true.  They were dug up from the nursery row, balled and burlapped, and transported to the nursery.  There, compost soil was placed in the container, the tree added, then more compost.  So they looked like the root mass was much bigger than it was.

That makes me think it will be harder to establish.  The tree is quite large for its root ball.

Planting.  Daffodil bulbs surrounding the tree.

Soaking in.
 Planting the tree - I surrounded it with mixed varieties of daffodil bulbs.  During the summer this tree should be mulched, with no competing plants.  However, daffodils grow their roots in the fall and winter, and the tops during rainy season.  I don't think they will be much competition for the tree roots.

Daffodils are reportedly deer and rabbit resistant, so I'm hoping they will have a bit of a protective benefit for the tree.

Planted and mulched.
Planted, watered in, and mulched.

I hope it grows.

We are heading into the rainy season.  That should help this nice tree establish roots and settle in.


  1. I am happy you have energy to do these tasks. The trees' roots do look compromised, yet with your care should make you lovely shade and aromas. I like the idea of daffodils to offer some protection from deer. Nice idea.

  2. Joan, I'm amazed that trees can survive such drastic root pruning. Last year we bought a red maple that was much taller - more than twice as tall - with as small, or smaller root system. I've been diligent about watering and mulch, and it survived the fall, winter, and summer again. So I know it can be done. It's almost like a gigantic cutting.

    There are still about a hundred daffodil bulbs to plant. One weekend at a time. Spring will be more colorful.