There has been an article circulating on why you should plant trees in square holes. Although it may seem like an innovative idea, it’s unnecessary, and a horticulturist spoke against this idea.
According to Jared Barnes, an undergraduate in environmental biology undergraduate with a doctorate in horticultural science, the process of digging square holes to plant trees requires more work than just digging a regular square hole.
By doing the math, Barnes concluded that digging a square hole requires the gardener to do 26 percent more work on the soil, which will make the process longer than usual. He even added that making a perfect circle is more likely than making a perfect square.
So instead of digging square holes, Barnes advises getting to the root of the problem. And by that, he means addressing girdling roots.
When roots hit the walls of the ground, they start to circle the base of the tree. And as the base and trunk grow wider, the roots and trunk eventually touch which causes girdling roots.
To avoid this at an early stage, Barnes advises pruning any twisted or matted roots from the edge of the root ball before planting the sapling. But if trees are in the late phases of their life, he suggests disturbing the soil and roots so they would be able to grow out and live long instead of being girdled and shortening their life span.