If you would like to add some shade to your yard or learn how to care for trees that are already there, Community Forestry Coordinator Tim McDonnell of the Kansas Forest Service, can give you advice on what to do.

The "Tree Planting Workshop" will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. March 14 at McPherson County Extension Office, 600 W. Woodside St. McPherson City Forester Kody Kraemer and McPherson County Extension Agent Shad Marston will be present at the workshop.

"I'm going to go through and talk about how to properly plant trees — how to get them started, how to get them established," McDonnell said.

McDonnell will also speak about the most common tree-planting mistakes people make including improper watering, planting trees at the wrong depth and selecting the wrong tree for the soil type.

"I'll spend a good portion of time on tree selection, which I think is the most important thing - selecting the right tree for the right site," McDonnell said.

It is unwise to select a tree based on its visual appeal without considering whether or not it is suited for where you would like to plant it.

"I think we can solve a lot of our problems by selecting the right tree," McDonnell said.

Picking a tree based on its coloration during the fall can lead to disappointment if the tree you choose cannot adapt to the soil in which it is planted. Kansas has many different types of soil that can include sand, clay, silt and loam.

"We have extreme diversity north and south and east and west," McDonnell said.

It can take up to five years for a tree to fully establish its roots after being planted.

"Basically, you're trying to get the tree through the shock of being transplanted," McDonnell said.

When it comes to irrigating your trees, be careful not to give them too much water.

"If you overwater, you're not making that plant maybe as drought tolerant, because you're pampering it," McDonnell said.

Trees planted in Kansas have to endure windy days and hot, dry weather.

"We usually have to irrigate through the course of the summer," McDonnell said.

Proper pruning techniques will also be discussed at the workshop.

"Some trees it's better to trim before they bud and flower and others it's not," Marston said.

McDonnell will share some of the latest research regarding how planting trees benefits a community — from encouraging drivers to slow down in residential areas to preventing skin cancer to saving homeowners money on their energy bills.

"Tree Planting Workshop" is free and open to the public and will also be of interest to those who work for tree care or groundskeeping companies.

"They can come with questions," Marston said.

An outdoor demonstration of tree planting will be held if the weather permits, Marston noted.

"Tree Planting Workshop" is sponsored by Kansas Forest Service, McPherson County Extension, City of McPherson and the McPherson Tree Board.

For more information about the Tree Planting Workshop or to RSVP, call McPherson County Extension Office at 620-241-1523. RSVPs may also be emailed to Tregehr@ksu.edu. 

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at pmiddleton@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.