How to Pick the Perfect Tree

Fall is quickly approaching, and that means it’s almost tree planting season here in Texas! There are several things to consider when selecting a tree, but you can use some of our tips to help you pick the perfect one.

  1. Before buying one, realize that different trees thrive in different areas and conditions. Here are some steps to get a good idea of the tree species that would work best for where you want to plant. Learn what trees generally do well in your hardiness zone.
  2. Determine the soil type and sun exposure of the specific planting location.
  3. Decide what function the tree will have in its planting location. Is it to shade a play area, reduce energy bills, provide aesthetics, add value or a combination?
  4. If you are unsure how to determine these or are looking for further guidance, the Arbor Day Foundation* has several useful tools, including the Tree Wizard, to help you make an educated choice.

After determining the species that interests you, you can head to a local nursery to pick your tree of choice. Here are some helpful tips on what to look for in a healthy tree.

  1. A quick test is to see what the tree does when you push the trunk back and forth. A tree with good roots will bend and stay firm in the soil, while a tree with poor roots will lean over.* Further examine the ones that pass the test and eliminate the others.
  2. Look for plentiful roots and root hairs that are moist and either white or light in color.
  3. Avoid circling roots in containerized trees but still make sure that the soil and roots are held well together.* If you already purchased a tree with circling roots, you can cut them before planting.
  4. Balled and burlapped trees should have a root ball that is firm and appropriate for the tree’s size.*
  5. Evenly green leaves are healthy while two toned or yellowing leaves can be a sign of chlorosis.
  6. Look for trees  with branches that start low. This will aid in its growth and help prevent sun damage.*
  7. Prioritize trunk caliper over tree height.

After you’ve picked the perfect tree, you can add Pellet 3-IA to give it a jump start. This specialized pellet helps root development and improves overall tree health and appearance. Both you and your tree will be thankful!

How to Pick the Perfect Tree