There are around 60,000 species of trees in the world. Each of them has different characteristics, including growth rates. Some grow fast, while others only add an extra few inches every year, and genetics account for most of the differences.
There’s still some good news for property owners who want to increase tree growth speed. While genetics play the largest role in determining growth rates, other factors can also make a difference. Read on to find out about the factors that influence tree growth rates to see what can be done to bring a sapling into maturity faster.
Choose the Right Location
Before planting a new tree, it’s always wise to look into Tree Experts Near Me and consult an arborist regarding site selection. Many trees can tolerate some amount of shade, but they won’t grow as fast as they would in full sun. Like all plants, trees create energy via photosynthesis. Full sunlight will provide them with more of the energy required to grow and thrive.
Test the Soil
Before planting a new tree, the property owner should conduct a soil test. Soil tests offer valuable information about not just the soil’s texture but also nutrient, pH, and drainage levels. Property owners can then use the information from the test to ensure that their soil will meet the specific needs of their new trees. They can purchase soil amendments that will help to alleviate drainage problems, increase the acidity of the soil, or add nutrients into the planting hole or onto the soil beneath the tree’s future drip line.
If the soil is nutrient-poor, adding organic compost to the planting hole can give the young tree what it needs to speed up its growth in its early years. Don’t go overboard, though. Adding too much compost to the planting hole can discourage the tree from sending out feeder roots into the surrounding soil, which can hamper its growth eventually. Some arborists recommend applying compost as a top-dressing around the tree instead of adding it to the planting hole to avoid this problem.
Check the Root Ball
Most nurseries sell bare-root trees with exposed root balls. They should be planted out in the spring before the buds start to form to avoid transplant shock. First, though, check the root ball. If there are tons of excess roots growing off in every direction, trim them back to within an inch or two of the root ball using a small, clean knife. Root pruning will encourage the tree to put out new feeder root growth once it’s in the ground, helping it take advantage of all those nutrients from the compost.
Ensure Optimal Health
Stressed trees don’t grow as fast. They often become defoliated due to pests, diseases, or environmental pressures, leaving them struggling just to stay alive, let alone to put out substantive new growth each year. Ensure optimal tree health by scheduling routine inspections with a tree expert and following his or her recommendations regarding feeding, watering, pruning, and preventative pest or disease control as closely as possible.
The Bottom Line
Some trees grow faster than others, and the best way to wind up with a mature tree quickly is to choose a fast-growing species. That said, there are some ways that property owners can ensure optimal growth. If time is of the essence, it’s always better to hire an arborist than it is to leave things up to chance.