Tree planter advice

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Hi all,

I'm thinking of planting a crab apple tree in our front garden and as we have an underground gas tank someone suggested sinking a planter so the roots from the tree don't damage the gas tank. The tree I'm looking at is a Malus sylvestris and I'm not really sure which size planter to get, I'd hate to get one too small that the tree dies or doesn't grow anymore than a foot tall.

So my question is, what sort of dimensions should I be looking at for a crab apple tree? And what should I fill the planter with before planting the tree? Would the soil I remove from the hole be OK or should I buy a few bags of compost instead?

Thank you for any help and advice,

Ben.
 
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Hi all,

I'm thinking of planting a crab apple tree in our front garden and as we have an underground gas tank someone suggested sinking a planter so the roots from the tree don't damage the gas tank. The tree I'm looking at is a Malus sylvestris and I'm not really sure which size planter to get, I'd hate to get one too small that the tree dies or doesn't grow anymore than a foot tall.

So my question is, what sort of dimensions should I be looking at for a crab apple tree? And what should I fill the planter with before planting the tree? Would the soil I remove from the hole be OK or should I buy a few bags of compost instead?

Thank you for any help and advice,

Ben.
If you plant a tree in a container and then bury the container, either partially or fully, you must cut the bottom out of the container. The roots must grow and if you keep them confined in a container soon the tree will become rootbound and the holes in the bottom will become stopped up with roots. Don't worry about an underground gas tank. The roots cannot get to the inside of it like they can with clay or segmented cement pipes and tear them apart. And they cannot damage the tank at all. When you plant your tree, whether it is a bare root tree, ball and burlap or containerized, dig a squarish, not a round hole at a depth equal to or slightly less than the depth of the root flare and its soil. The reason for a squarish hole is that roots will grow to the corner and into the surrounding soil and if the hole is round the roots will tend to just grow in a circle. Fill the hole with water and if it drains away completely in 24 hours it is a good spot to plant. DO NOT BURY THE ROOT FLARE. If you are planting a containerized tree make sure the grower didn't plant the tree too deep in the container. If you cannot see the root flare remove as much soil as needed to see it. I like to make the width of the hole 2-3 times the width of the container. The same for ball and burlap and bare root. DO NOT add compost or other amendments to the soil that was removed for the hole. If you do the roots will want to stay in that enriched area, wont spread quickly and tend to grow in a circular manner. You can add a good organic fertilizer to the top 2-4 inches of soil. Plant your tree and give it a long slow soaking. Apply about 3-4 inches of mulch to the dug up area but do not let the mulch cover the root flare.
 
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Hi Chuck,

Thanks so much for the detailed reply, that's perfect :) It also means I can save a few bob on a planter!

Thanks again,

Ben.
 

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