If you plant a tree in a square hole, the tree becomes stronger and thrives more than if you planted it in a round hole. So, if you’re on a mission to plant trees and save the planet, then it’s good to keep this tip in mind.
Planting In Round Holes
When people plant trees, they usually make a round hole, put the tree inside then fill the hole with lots of rich compost and fertilizer. However, there are a few reasons why planting the tree in a round hole is terrible for the tree’s roots and growth process.
At first, your tree will have great success as the little sapling rapidly grows new roots that spread out into the fertile and fluffy soil. But once the roots hit the poorer and compact ground at the perimeter of the hole, the roots won’t like it, and they will turn and snake along the edge of the border in search of better conditions.
When the roots do this, they create a spiraling action around the edge of the hole, developing a circular root system. You could imagine how this would look if you’ve seen a plant growing in a container. The roots will thicken and harden into a tight ring as they mature, creating a girdle that chokes the plant, and in some cases, resulting in severe stunting or death of your tree.
Planting In Square Holes
The chances of your tree surviving will increase dramatically by merely digging a square hole instead of a round one when you plant the sapling. The roots won’t develop a circular root system because, as systematic planting trials have shown, the roots are not good at growing around corners. When the roots hit the 90-degree angle of a square hole, rather than snaking around to create a spiral, they spread out of the planting hole to colonize the surrounding native soil.
Not only does the tree have a better chance of survival, but the speed of growth will drastically increase, and the tree will become more resistant to environmental challenges, like droughts.
How To Guarantee Your Trees Survival Even More
When you’re planting a tree, before you fill the hole up with rich organic matter and fertilizer, fill it up with the soil that you just dug out. Doing this will reduce the chances of the roots “container effect” behavior. It’s also important to remember to prune out any roots from your square-hole before you plant the sapling. Root pruning triggers the production of compounds that stimulate root growth.
Image credit: Andrew Montgomery