On Tuesday evening I attended Creek County Master Gardeners’ third class in their fall series at the Sapulpa Public Library. Mike Perkins, the Director of Operations at Up with Trees, gave a presentation on tree planting and pruning. He covered a variety of issues, including fertilizing, selection, placement, planting, pruning, and tools.
Perkins stressed the importance of selecting the right tree for your space. It may sound obvious, but you should choose a tree based on its final size rather than its current size, and consider how close it will be to any existing structures, property lines, or other trees. For example, for large trees, you should keep 15-20 feet between your tree and your house. You would also do well to look up and down before starting to plant. Are there power lines above your chosen spot? Fiber optic cables, electricity, gas, or phone lines below? If you are unsure, you can call 1-800-522-6543 or 918-811-OKIE and have someone come out to your house to flag those spots for you.
Other considerations while selecting a tree for your chosen area are how much sun and shade it receives, how windy it is, and its soil type. If your soil is sandy make sure to purchase a tree that needs to be well-drained, and if your yard has clay then be sure to buy a tree whose roots need to stay wet. Do your research!
Perkins’s essential advice is to take your time and plan ahead so you can avoid problems with your trees in the future. And if you are still unsure, you can always call Creek County Master Gardeners, Up with Trees, or your local nursery. (Contact information is at the end of the article.)
If you are interested in learning more, you might consider becoming a Master Gardener yourself. They are having a meet and greet for potential members on Tuesday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Creek County Fairgrounds.
Master Gardeners are experienced gardeners who want to learn more about growing plants and who will volunteer their knowledge and expertise to the public. If you are accepted into their program, you will have a one-week training course with forty hours of instruction. The cost is $75 per person.
After successfully completing the training program, you will have a one-year internship during which you must volunteer forty hours of your time. In the years following your internship you must volunteer twenty hours and will also receive twenty hours of continued education.
Creek County Master Gardeners will hold one more class this fall, on Tuesday, November 6th. The topic for discussion is Garden Tools: Clean & Sharp. All classes are in Frank Hall at the Sapulpa Public Library and are free and open to the public. If you have questions about any of the topics or about CCMG, you may call 918-224-2192 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Creek County Master Gardeners is part of the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service.
If you would like to get in touch with Up with Trees for questions or for help with your trees, you can visit their website at upwithtrees.org.