Things you will need to plant your tree:
- Tree Staking Kit
- Plant Starter
- Tree Gator
- PHC Tree Saver or Espoma Bio-tone
- Soil Moist
- Roots Healthy Start
- Planting Mix
Lay down a hose or some rope to outline the bed you want to create. This will help you visualize the size of the space you are planting within. Position the tree where you think it looks best. Mark around the root ball with a hoe, edger, or even spray paint. Use a shovel held against the root ball to approximate its width and then add twice that area for the size of the hole you need to dig.
Gently loosen and remove about 3-4″ of soil around the base of the tree to expose the root flare. The root flare is the area where the trunk ends and the roots begin. It’s essential that the root flare is exposed to ensure the health of the root system. A healthy tree will grow roots that reach away from the stem and extend where needed to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil around it. If the root flare is buried, the roots will find anyway they can to reach the nutrients and water they need and sometimes will result in abnormal growth that can strangle the tree.
Now you need to approximate the depth of the root ball so that you don’t dig a hole that is too deep for the tree. You can do this again by using the shovel held against the root ball. Planting depth is key to your trees’ survival. More young trees will die from being planted too deep than from any other cause.
Watch our helpful video on “how to plant a tree”
Using those shovel approximated measurements, dig the hole. Keep checking the depth of the hole using that same shovel approximation. It’s critical that the hole not been too deep. A tree should be planted so that the base of the root ball is settled on untouched earth and so that when the hole is filled, the root flare of the tree is at or above ground level.
Now that the hole is ready, you can roll the tree into it and position it in a place where it stands the straightest. Once you feel that the tree is straight enough, cut the twine off of the root ball and roll back the burlap from the root ball.
Remove all large rocks from the soil left from digging the hole. Mix in a good amount of Planting Mix as well as some Soil Moist to the leftover soil. The Soil Moist will help to reduce the watering needs of the tree, minimize the transplant shock and protect the roots from heat stress. Fill in the hole around the tree with this mixture of soil and soil amendments about 3/4 of the way full.
Add some of the PHC Tree Saver or Espoma Bio-tone to the top of the soil you just shoveled back into the hole. This will ensure healthy root development. Add more of the mixture of soil and soil amendments and then add some of the Roots Healthy Start. Now you can level the hole off and pack it down firmly.
Mix 6 tablespoons of the Plant Starter concentrate into a gallon of water and pour at the base of the tree.
You may now add mulch to the area if you choose. Newly planted trees rely on a lot of water to establish themselves. Using a Tree Gator is a great way to add water to your new tree in a timed and slowly released fashion. You may also consider using a Tree Staking Kit to help your new tree stabilize until its root system is full established.
That’s it! Nine easy steps and you are now ready to enjoy the tree you have planted for many years to come!
For more information about how to plant a tree or shrub, click here to see our helpful, step-by-step video.