Landscape Planting Guidelines
There are several considerations that must be taken into account prior to, during and following the planting process that will dramatically improve the survival and performance of trees transplanted to the landscape.
- Be sure that you are working with healthy and correctly dug and transported trees. Plants delivered in dry or loose soil balls are much more prone to transplant shock or death than those that have been maintained and handled properly.
- Be sure all utilities have been marked on the site (call OKIE 1-800-522-6543) and then stake locations using the plan to determine if any field adjustments need to be made.
- Dig a hole at least 18" -24" wider than the diameter of the root ball and not deeper than it has been grown in the nursery to prevent unwanted settling and a dish effect. The tighter the soil from clay and compaction, the more necessary it is to dig a wider hole.
- Carefully lower the tree into the hole being sure to support it from the root ball rather than the trunk. The root ball must stay firm and unbroken during the planting process.
- Orient the tree so that the lowest scaffold branch points into the prevailing southwest wind. Straighten the tree and backfill with only enough soil to support it.
- Cut the nylon twine and remove it. Unpin the top 1/3 of burlap and cut it off. Be sure not to disturb root ball during this procedure.
- Finish backfilling the hole and build a moat on the outside diameter of the hole.
- Stake and wrap the tree as shown on the detail sheet.
- Guide a hose through the soil supporting the new tree to the bottom of the hole. Slowly fill the hole with water to force any air trapped around the root ball to the surface.
- Fill the area within the moat with 3"- 4" of mulch. Follow through by implementing the Three-Year Maintenance Guidelines.
Tree Planting Guidelines
Tree Planting Guidelines Illustration
Recommended Plant Material
The unpredictability of the Oklahoma climate and the severe shifts in weather patterns influencing rapid changes during the seasons have compelled the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to include these technical recommendations for those groups submitting proposals to the Clean and Beautiful Schools Program. These recommendations have been developed to enhance the chances for success of public land beautification projects funded by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
- Deciduous trees -- 1 ½ - 2 ½” caliper
- Evergreen trees -- 5’ – 6’ tall
- Shrubs -- 5, 10 or 15-gallon container grown
- Ground covers & Perennials -- 1-gallon container grown
- No trees that will mature to heights over 15’ are allowed to be planted under any power lines. All trees must be planted far enough away from power lines so that at mature height and spread there will be no interference with power lines.
- A plan for maintenance, including watering, must be submitted at the time of application for a Margaret Annis Boys Trust/Clean and Beautiful Schools grant. Irrigation systems are not required, but a plan for watering the trees and other plant materials during establishment is required. Establishment is generally three years.
Please review the Three-Year Establishment Maintenance Plan & Annual Maintenance Schedule available via PDF format.
Trees recommended for Margaret Annis Boys Trust/Clean and Beautiful Schools Projects include:
Caneart Red Cedar
Kentucky Coffee Tree
Shumard Red Oak
Callery Pear & improved Pear varieties
Shrubs/grasses recommended for Margaret Annis Boys Trust/Clean and Beautiful Schools Projects include:
Nellie Stevens Holly(tree form)
Trees NOT recommended for Margaret Annis Boys/Clean and Beautiful Schools projects:
Japanese Black Pine
- All plants shall be true to species and variety with the latest edition of Standardized Plant Names, American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature.
- All plants shall be symmetrical in growth with balanced root and top growth and shall be No. 1 in grade or type, conforming to Horticultural Standards of the American Association of Nurserymen. All material shall be free of mechanical injury, decay or other defects.
- Plant material shall be nursery grown and shall have received the proper fertilizing, watering, root pruning and such other care as is normally received for a particular plant under nursery growing conditions. Balled and burlapped stock shall consist of plants grown under natural conditions in soils and climate comparable to the county of Oklahoma County. Plant material must have been grown within a 200 mile radius of the county of Oklahoma County. Plants collected from wild or native stands will not be acceptable. Plants located from outside 200 mile radius growing area, must have prior approval of supplier by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation representative.
- Plant material specified as balled and burlapped, (B&B), must have a ball size according to American Association of Nurserymen Standards. All balls shall be firm earth from the original soil in which the plant grew. The ball shall be wrapped with burlap and tightly tied to hold it firm and intact. Any plants with broken or loose balls or manufactured balls will be rejected. Plants wrapped in burlap only will be accepted. Earth balls wrapped in a polypropylene type material will not be acceptable. Nylon twine for securing earth balls shall be required. Jute or sisal twine is not acceptable. Only nursery stock which was harvested during the current season will be accepted. Nursery stock which has been held over through the year and re-burlapped will not be acceptable.
- Plant material specified as Acontainers© must be container-grown and conform to the size and conditions specified by the American Association of Nurserymen Standards.
- All plant material shall conform with existing State and Federal laws and regulations governing plant diseases and infection and interstate movement.
- Plant material shall be available for inspection at the nursery or information concerning the source of supply on request by the representative of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
- Plant material shall be handled and shipped so that it is protected from room drying, wind and smoke damage. Where plant material is shipped over 30 miles, the material must be covered so as to prevent damage.
- Size of Plant Material specified plus 3@ trunk caliper shall be the maximum allowable size. Larger or smaller sizes will only be accepted upon approval of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
- Minimum branching height for shade and street trees shall be 4' unless otherwise specified.
- Plant material produced in Aroot control© in ground containers will be acceptable B&B nursery stock. The fabric bag must be removed and the earth ball secured with burlap.
- Balling and burlapping of all nursery stock for the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Projects will proceed only after nursery stock is fully dormant in the fall and prior to bud break and leaf emergence in the spring.
- All trees not immediately installed on school projects shall be properly Aheeled-in©, according to common nursery practices, after harvesting and root balls kept moist within the holding area until shipping.
- All trees will be shipped with trunk protectors to prevent mechanical injury to the trunk during loading, shipping and unloading.
- Transport of nursery stock will not be acceptable when air temperatures are below 30 degrees F.
- Plant material that has been damaged or does not conform with these specifications in any way will be rejected at time of delivery.
- Trees must be scheduled for installation at least seven days in advance. Utility location must be complete prior to the installation beginning.
- All trees shall be priced F.O.B. School Site and include installation, if requested.
*Borrowed liberally from the Wichita, KS, Parks and Recreation Department.
Plant Material Size & Spacing Guidelines
Minimizing transplant shock will dramatically increase the trees potential to establish quicker and perform at a very favorable growth rate. Correct harvesting and planting of a young, vigorous tree is one of the best ways to insure a successful transition to the school campus.
Recommended size for deciduous trees:
1 ½ - 2" caliper
Up to 2 ½ caliper on limited varieties
Recommended size for evergreen trees:
5' - 6' tall
6' - 8' on limited varieties
Recommended size for shrubs:
5-gallon container grown
6' - 8' balled and burlapped on limited varieties
Standard Root Ball Sizes for nursery-grown shade trees:
|Caliper (in.)||Height Range (ft.)||Min. Ball Dia. (in.)||Min. Ball Depth (in.)|
Caliper measurement should be taken 6" above ground level.
American Standard for Nursery Stock, ANSI Z60.1 for complete list of Nursery Standards for other types and sizes of trees and shrubs.
*Root Control fabric containers may vary slightly in minimal root ball size.
RECOMMENDED SPACING GUIDELINES FOR LARGE TREES
Mature Height: 40' - 60'
Recommended Spacing: 40' - 50'
Lace Bark Elm - Ulmus parvifolia
Kentucky Coffee Tree - London Planetree
Bald Cypress/Pond Cypress - Taxodium distichum
Burr Oak - Quercus marcocarpus
Shumard Red Oak - Quercus shumardi
Chinquapin Oak - Quercus muehlenbergi
RECOMMENDED SPACING FOR MEDIUM TREES
Mature Height: 25' - 40'
Recommended Spacing: 25' - 35'
Golden Rain Trees - Koelreuteria paniculata
Caddo Maple - Acer saccharum ‘Caddo'
Shantung Maple - Acer truncatum
Sawtooth Oak - Quercus acutisslma
Chinese Pistache - Pistachia chinensis
Improved Pear Varities - Pyrus spp.
Legacy Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum ‘Legacy’
Eastern red cedar selections - Juniperus virginiana spp.
River Birch - Betula nigra
Slash Pine - Pinus ellotti
RECOMMENDED SPACING FOR SMALL TREES
Mature Height: Less than 25'
Recommended Spacing: 15' - 25'
“Oklahoma” Redbud - Cercis reniformis “Oklahoma”
Desert Willow - Chilopsis linearis
Amur Maple- Acer ginnala
Hedge maple - Acer campestre
Saucer Magnolis-Magnolia Soulangiana
RECOMMENDED SPACING FOR LARGE SHRUBS
Mature Height: 5' - 10'
Recommended Spacing: 6' - 15'
Vitex - Vitex agus - castus
Crape Myrtle - Lagerstroemia indica
Yaupon Holly - Ilex vometoria
Nellie Stevens Holly - Ilex x Nellie R. Stevens
Deciduous Holly - Ilex decidua
Vanhoutte Spiraea - Spiraea x vanhoutte
Winterberry Euonymus -Euonymus bungeana
Burning Bush - Euonymus alata
NOTE: No trees that will mature to heights over 15' are allowed to be planted under any power lines. All trees must be planted far enough away from power lines so that at mature height and spread there will be no interference with power lines.
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