Is my tree planted wrong

Asked July 26, 2015, 8:11 AM EDT

I recently had two trees planted in my front yard. I prefer a natural look, but the people planted the trees with a berm and the root flare is 7" higher then the surrounding/original soil. I feel like the tree should be more level with the ground so I can plant grass seed around it for a more natural look, but they think the tree shouldn't be dug lower. Thoughts?

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

It sounds like your tree was planted too high. The root collar of a tree should be level with the existing ground. Planting a tree too high will allude to the small feeder roots growing in an environment that is droughty. Piling mulch on top will suffice to keep these roots moist only when water is available. The roots will eventually grow in and throughout the mulch instead of in the soil. Mulch has many porous spaces and the root hairs will 'dry-out' when they near the edge of the mulch. Mulch, also, should never be placed up against the tree trunk. Since this specimen has just been planted, I would recommend that the mulch be removed, the tree planted at the recommended depth and the mulch replaced to no more than 2 inches above the soil surface. Water thoroughly to make sure the plant is established in the new location - especially now that summer heat is upon us ... planting trees during this time-of-year is not recommended. Hopefully the roots have not started to expand outwards from their previous growing situation (pot or Ball-n-burlap container). If you plant grass around the base of this tree, make sure the trunk is protected from future moving equipment and the grass isn't allowed to grow up against the root collar - perfect location for mice, voles, insects and other critters to invade and possibly damage the tree. ~DOT