- Right tree / right spot – Planting a tree that doesn’t like the given location (wet / dry / windy / sunny / shady / etc.) is not a good thing!
- Mark the spot where the tree will be planted. (Make sure you call 811 before digging a hole.)
- Measure the width and depth of the root ball. You’ll dig the hole a minimum of 6-8 inches wider than the root ball, and only as deep as needed so the top of the root ball will be at or slightly higher than soil level when planted. If you make a mistake, always plant too high rather than too deep.
- Add the measurements of the root ball width, extra width digging the hole, and width of the mulch ring around the tree when finished planting. This is your overall width of the finished planting area. Mark the finished planting area around the spot where the tree is to be planted.
- Cut and remove the sod from the finished planting area. From the center of the planting area, mark the width of your planting hole (width of root ball plus 6-8 inches wider). Lay a tarp just outside that line. Begin digging, putting the soil from the hole onto the tarp. ONLY DIG AS DEEP AS NEEDED. Measure the finished hole before placing the tree in it. If you dug too deep and must fill back in, step on the fill to help settle it down, before placing the tree in the hole.
- For a container tree, slide it out of the pot and check the roots. If tight and growing in a circle, loosen the roots before planting. If the tree has burlap around it, place it in the hole, and then cut the top layer of burlap off the root ball, as well as slicing the burlap on the sides several times. Make sure the top of the root ball is at a proper level, and the tree is straight and positioned as you want it.
- Amend the soil (from digging the hole) with about 20-25% Pine Soil Conditioner. Pour on top of the soil and chop it all together. This is your backfill. Begin filling in around the tree, chopping the backfill, to make sure there are no soil clumps, air pockets, etc. Feel free to step on the backfill very now and then to lightly press in down. Back fill until you reach the top of the root ball. Do not place backfill on the top of the root ball.
- Once finished, remove tarp /extra soil, and then place mulch around the tree, 1-3 inches deep, never placing the mulch against the trunk. It should look like a donut when finished.
- Water in well, thoroughly soaking the root ball and new backfill. Now is the time to feed with a water-soluble Plant Starter / Root Stimulant. Soak the tree again the next day, and you’re ready to begin the watering cycle, which is very important to getting this new tree off to a great start.
Staking: Only stake the tree if it’s a container grown tree, or in a high wind location.
Deer: Have deer in your area? Be sure to use a tree trunk protector late summer thru spring.