Improper planting is a very common cause of tree decline and stress in Utah. Improper planting includes selecting the wrong plant for the site, selecting a poor planting site, planting root-bound/circling stock, digging an inadequate planting hole, inadequately preparing soil, planting too deeply, not removing non-biodegradable burlap or metal baskets from around the trunk, improper staking, mulching too high, miswatering, and not monitoring the tree after planting. Symptoms of improper planting can take years to manifest and are often overlooked; these, however, should be looked for first when diagnosing plant health issues.
Always select the best tree for the site. Use Utah State University’s treebrowser.org website to help select the proper tree for the site. Assess the planting site for soil and environmental conditions and prepare the site accordingly to prevent planting issues.