In addition to choosing plants and trees specifically for your hardiness zone, you must also consider other environmental conditions to ensure successful growth and fruiting. Many tree varieties require more maintenance and attention than others, but most plant problems result from environmental stress. With a basic understanding of common environmental factors that affect tree growth, you will be able to identify and correct tree problems more effectively.
Sunlight is one of the most important things for plant growth, but that doesn’t mean every tree needs sunlight all day, every day. Some trees like full sun for most hours of the day, while others like a little shady relief from the sun. Insufficient sunlight can lead to decreased fruit, flower or leaf production and weak growth that is prone to breakage.
By determining your tree’s sunlight needs and preferences before planting it, you will be able to choose the best place to plant it. Observe the potential location throughout the day to see how many hours of sunlight it receives.
All plants and trees need water to survive, but the amount depends on each variety. Different types of soil flow at their own pace; your tree might need extra watering if you have sandy soil rather than clay soil. Watering your trees is crucial in times of drought, but quantity also matters.
Light watering over consecutive days creates a shallow root system, which you don’t want. Instead, watering deeply and less frequently helps young trees establish strong root systems.
Trees are sensitive to air temperature, and cold and hot weather can wreak havoc on trees. You can avoid this by choosing trees specifically for your location’s climate, understanding how cold weather affects growth, and knowing how to protect your trees from unexpected weather conditions.
Consider applying mulch to the base of the tree to keep the soil temperature cool and prevent water from evaporating in high heat. On the other hand, the use of protective tree wraps and mulch retain heat and protect the tree from freezing cold.
Many people overlook the importance of soil conditions when choosing trees to plant, but proper structure and pH are essential for successful tree growth. Each variety of tree has a tolerance range for soil type and pH level. Before planting, consider testing your soil for potential problems and pH levels to determine if it will be suitable for your strain.
Knowing the common environmental factors that affect tree growth can give you a head start on becoming a successful gardener. Although many trees have a tolerance for undesirable conditions, making your tree as comfortable as possible guarantees positive growth, flowering, and substantial fruit yield for fruit trees.