January 5, 2023

Get to Know Your Hardwood Floors: Planting Hardwoods for the Flooring Industry

Colorful sunrise in a hardwood forest with colorful leaves in september

Hardwood floors are elegant and long-lasting add-ons requiring little maintenance to your home. They come in varied colors, patterns, and grains, making it easy for clients to find something that will fit their styles. Despite the convenience you get from the options they offer, planting and maintaining them before they turn to planks is everything but convenient. Although hardwood flooring is costlier than most options, every penny is worth it with how much effort and preparation they need to produce quality timber. Find out more about how tree farms plant and care for hardwoods for the flooring industry.

Planting Hardwood Trees

Unlike other tree species, regenerating or starting many hardwood stands can be tricky as they need man-made techniques and management to regenerate and grow sustainably. While some hardwood trees like pine, ash, and red maple repopulate quickly because the wind disperses their seeds, popular flooring choices, like oak, cannot.

Careful planting and management are essential to ensure each hardwood forest can sustain the demands of the industry. Plantations often interplant different species to have sustainable lumber production all year round. But planting other species like pine requires specific site preparations to kill competing hardwoods to ensure quality growth and yield.

Hardwood seedlings are best planted during spring because it provides optimal soil temperature and moisture. In some states, plantations deal with extremely dry conditions and compromise by watering their seedlings soon after planting. When it comes to hardwood trees, new seedlings need to stay in cold storage for half a year to acclimate them.

Farmers also cover them with canvas or plastic tarps to avoid direct exposure to the sun and wind. Unlike other species, many hardwood seedlings need to stay under heavy shade to prevent contact with unnecessary moisture and protect them from weeds, herbs, and animals.

Fertilization of Hardwood Trees

Hardwood lumber for flooring needs to grow nice and sturdy. To ensure clients avail quality hardwood flooring planks, fertilization is essential. Trees, in general, should not receive fertilizers before they turn three to five years old. The only exception for doing this is when the soil in the farm has a serious deficiency that can affect the growth of the trees.

In addition, applying fertilizers to trees older than five years should happen in spring or as soon as the soil is frost-free. Fertilizer application during autumn can cause the hardwood to break and result in winter damage to new succulent growth.

Hardwood tree fertilizers also have specific formulations to meet their nutrient needs. Most products have nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, including other essential elements like magnesium and sulfur.

Plants and trees need nitrogen in all their physiological processes, and its deficiency can decrease their vigor and turn their foliage yellow. Phosphorus helps root development and prevents stunting plant growth.

Hardwood Tree Care and Maintenance

Maintaining and caring for domestic and exotic hardwood trees use different methods to prevent trees from acquiring diseases and keep them sustainable for a long time. Many species require decades to reach maturity and become ready for harvesting. Due to that, tree farmers found ways to get better yields and use every part of the tree after taking the lumber they need. Some of these methods are pruning and staking.


Pruning has become an essential aspect of hardwood tree management. Despite its importance to the health and longevity of hardwood trees, many plantations put them off for several years, causing them to waste time fixing them and allowing trees to acquire diseases. Depending on the type of tree, the number of pruning and their schedules can vary.

Hardwood species like beech, birch, and maple produce huge amounts of sap flows in spring. These trees need pruning in December or January to keep the sap from affecting their vigor and form. Hardwoods like black cherry, walnut, and oak can get pruned during February or March.

Farmers need to ensure they use clean tools to prune hardwood trees. Pruning with infected or dirty tools makes it easier for diseases to spread from each tree and destroy them fast. During the first winter of hardwood trees, pruning should focus on trimming the crooked leaders back to upright buds. In addition, it’s also the best time to stake up drooping leaders and remove crossed branches.

Annual pruning will improve the quality of timber once they’re ready for harvest. Maintaining a third of tree height can also produce the best growth and form, making them more sustainable.


It’s not uncommon for young hardwood trees to need additional temporary support to grow straight. Plantations help their trees manage their forms with staking. The method promoted growth in the upper part of the tree, which is crucial to the development of its lower portions.

Whenever trees sway with the wind, the movement encourages the trunk to grow wider. But the lack of swaying can slow trunk growth and turn it into a spindly tree that can’t support its crown. Staking the hardwood protects it from being girdled or damaged while allowing its lower portion to move and develop. After one or two years, farmers remove the stakes and let the tree mature.

Planting Trees for Hardwood Floors in Austin

Planting hardwood trees for the wood flooring industry use tedious processes and intricate methods. Following these allows farms to produce sturdy and beautiful planks that can withstand wear and tear for decades. Understanding the hard work of these hardwood forests and farms can help give you more appreciation for the value and beauty of hardwood floors.

Invest in the trending hardwood flooring planks of 2023 with the help of Kelly Hardwood Floors now!