Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall

Gigantic trees make you dream, as once planted, they are to stay on Earth for a long time! Planting in itself is not difficult but there are some precautions to take, considering their future growth!

Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall
Nothing is more majestic than a gigantic tree, but it means planting for future generations!
Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall
This Sequoia is only 100 years old …and it already measures 50m in height!

When we think about an enormous tree, the Sequoia comes to mind straight away. But the Jeffrey’s Pine, the Ginkgo, the Oriental Plane tree and others easily reach 40m in height, that is to say a 13 floors’ building. The adult size of these trees is not a well-known fact for us as they take a long time to reach their adult size and many of them have not been planted for long enough.

Did you know?

The Sequoias which we can see in the big parks of Europe have not reached their adult size yet, as the older ones, hardly older than 250 years are still in infancy!

Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall
A small Pine will become quite tall and even gigantic!

The size: to be well dealt with

At planting time, a gigantic tree can be quite small: everything starts with a seed! The size which needs to be taken into account is, of course, the size of the tree after a length of time. Cedar trees for example grow wide to start with, whilst a Eucalyptus grows vertically. The right spot for this type of tree must be away from buildings (at least 30m and even more if possible), away from pipes (at least 10m) and from electricity lines (at least 50m). In a confined space, the tree might need to be cut down as it sometimes happens…and that’s a real shame!

To start with, the tree is not going to cause any bulk’s problem. Add some plants near your tree as it will seem a little bit thin if you let it standing on its own. Around the tree but at least 70cm away from it, plant for example some Asters or ground-covering plants. Not only this will allow you to wait for it to reach a decent size but also this will give a natural protection to your tree. Over time, the tree will expand its grip and the soil will become bare underneath, which is normal.

The planting hole: huge!

It is hard to imagine a giant standing on its feet if they are tiny. The roots of a gigantic tree must be perfectly embedded into the ground and for that, they must take possession of the site as the tree grows. Therefore, dig a very big hole, 1m side if you can and rather deep, up to 80cm and more if possible. Enrich the soil with large quantities of compost and amendments (banish peat as it is not suitable for this use). The richer, fertile and deep the ground is, the quicker and taller the tree will necessarily grow.

Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall
Dig a large, deep hole.
Planting a tree which is going to grow quite tall
Add plenty of compost and soil-enriching agents.

Water without failing

During the first 3 to 4 years, water your tree regularly. Every 10 days the first year, twice a month the second, and so on and so forth until the tree is weaned off. It must fend for itself, as in case of a strong drought, it is inconceivable to water such a large specimen.

And how about growing one in a pot?

A giant will be a giant….dwarf. Sequoias, Ginkgo trees and all the others grow quite well in pots, where they can live for centuries. However you will need to prune them as Bonsai, with yearly repotting and pruning to shape them as dwarf specimens.

M. Jean-Michel GROULT
 
Crédits photos: Franck Boucourt (Sauf mention contraire)
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