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Planting a New Tree? Here's What to Consider

Prairie City, Iowa

There are many things to consider when adding shade to your yard in the form of a tree, and it can be difficult to know where to start.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, guest host Jason Burns talks with Iowa State University horticulturists Jeff Iles and Richard Jauron about what to keep in mind when buying and planting a sapling.

“The months of April and May are great months to plant,” says Iles. Though he tends to rely more on soil conditions than the time of year when deciding when to plant. “I don’t want to be digging in the soil when it’s exceptionally wet, so I usually wait for it to dry out somewhat.”

He adds that planting season depends on the type of sapling you buy. Bare root nursery stock trees are sold without soil.

“Typically, the bare root season is really early,” he says. “April is a good time to plant care root nursery stock.”

Iles says to look for three main things when picking out your new tree.

“I like to see trees with a nice strong central leader, good branching, and some of the lower branches left on the trunk.”

During the show, Iles and Jauron also answer listener questions.


HorticultureHort DayHort Day
Contact Jason at jburns@iowapublicradio.org.