What Are Advanced/Mature Trees?
In most applications, landscapers and landscape designers plant saplings. These are very young trees that will grow as the property or landscape design matures. Some tree species offer rapid growth, while others can take a rather long time to reach maturity. However, there are some instances where advanced/mature trees are preferable to saplings.
Advanced/mature trees are exactly what they sound like. These are trees that have almost reached their full height and thickness, or have already attained full maturity. While newly developed areas usually make use of saplings, advanced/mature trees of 5-20 years old are ideal options for use in an area that has already been developed, and see use in urban reforestation projects, as well as replacing trees that have been damaged by storms or disease.
Advanced/mature trees can be available with root balls, though many mature trees are ground planted and are only dug up on delivery request to a nursery.
Special Considerations with Advanced/Mature Trees
You will find that using advanced/mature trees requires some special considerations not usually found with saplings. For example, due to their age and the maturity of their root system, advanced/mature trees require extra care when planting. They also require more in-depth care and maintenance during the first few years after planting. Advanced and mature trees will require more frequent watering than a sapling would, in order to remain healthy and to promote establishment in the new location.
You should also know the root system type of the advanced/mature trees that you are considering and the type of soil in your area. Trees with shallow root systems can develop deeper roots if the soil is particularly dry, while trees that ordinarily have deep roots can develop shallow root systems if the soil is rich and loamy. Make sure you discuss planting advanced/mature trees with your nursery prior to purchasing any varieties.
As you can see, advanced/mature trees do offer some benefits in many situations. However, they require special care and considerations when planting to ensure that they thrive.