There’s more to planting a tree than just digging a hole in your yard and putting the roots into the ground. Not paying attention to method can result in damage – or even death. Taking the time to do it right the first time will ensure a longer, healthier life for your tree and fewer headaches long-term for you.
Think it through
Before you even plant, think about the kind of height and shape you’re looking for and whether you want a deciduous or evergreen tree. Also determine where you want to plant it and the conditions (e.g., light, soil type, moisture level etc.) that characterize that site.
Buy a tree that looks green and healthy. Also be sure that it has a large root ball to help it get established and achieve healthy growth.
Make your calculations
Measure the width of the root ball with a tape measure and multiply that number by three to figure out how wide to make the hole. Use the information to guide you as you dig.
Prepare the soil
Soften the ground using a pickaxe then dig the hole using the shovel. Make sure that the hole is deep enough so that the top of the soil around the root ball will be 2 or 3 inches above the level of the ground where the tree is planted. Lay down fertilizer and soil conditioner inside the hole evenly.
Plant your tree
Place the tree in the center of the hole and loosen the root ball. Shovel the dirt back into the hole around the tree and rake the soil smoothly around the tree. Mulch with pine straw.
Clean it up
Remove any branches that need pruning to shape the tree. Then water the ground thoroughly around the tree.
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