All types of trees have numerous benefits for our planet. The trees improve air quality, control soil erosion, filter contaminants, reduce the quantity of carbon dioxide and liberate oxygen from the environment. Similarly, they make our environment beautiful, increase the property value, reduce noise and protect us from the heat.
Fortunately, we can choose the type of tree that best adjusts to our needs, if we commit to its maintenance. In tropical places like Puerto Rico, we can plant fruit trees such as sugar apple, guanábana, almond, heart, cacao, among others. Other types of trees could be Malagueta (chili plant), Callicarpa, Eugene, Guayacán, Thespesia grandiflora, Mangrove and Tintillo Fruits. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the native trees f your country and region and that you orient yourself with how to take care of it.
What’s most important is that before the tree is selected, you must consider the following factors: the place to plant, available space and its purpose. When we acknowledge beforehand the development of the tree and its cup type, selecting the species becomes easier.
The top part of the tree falls into the following categories: column, palm, round, oval, variable and shade. For example, if we are interested in planting trees for our privacy, the most convenient thing would be to select those with a pillar cup, like the Eugene. If you are looking for shade, trees with variable cup, oval or umbrella-like might be more appropriate.
Once you’ve selected a tree, be sure to plant it correctly to ensure a healthy growth and one from which you can benefit as soon as possible:
- Remove the tree from its vase or bag in which it comes and locate it in water between three and six hours. Prevent altering its roots.
- Remove every herb in an area of 3 ft. circumference.
- Make a bigger hole than the tree’s container to protect the roots and facilitate their growth.
- Plant the tree up to the top of its roots. Make sure that the trunk is straight.
- Locate the remaining soil around the tree, but it shouldn’t be too tight.
- Wet the soil and cover it with dry leaves to protect its roots.
Normally, trees develop better if they grow without stakes. These are necessary only to: protect the trunks from machines, impede excessive movement, during the development of new roots and to sustain a weak trunk.
Regular tree irrigation is important, primarily in its early years of development and during the dry season. If you use wood wool or any other material to retain the humidity, then you will need to water it once a week.
Remember that depending on the growth of the tree and its development, pruning will be part of its regular maintenance. Pruning contributes to improve its appearance and shape; reduces the damages and its vulnerability during storms; reduces danger to people and properties; and it eliminates broken or old branches to prevent plague and illnesses that can affect the tree.
Trees…more trees by Fideicomiso de Conservación de Puerto Rico