Planting B&B Trees & Shrubs

Measure the height and width of the rootball

  1. Excavate the top of the rootball to determine the location of the root-flare and the beginning of the root system

  2. Prepare a planting hole at the depth needed for the root-flare to be above ground while the roots are slightly below ground. The root-flare should be should be sitting on solid ground to eliminate sinking after planting. The hole should have a maximum width of 3X the width of the rootball.

  3. Using the intact wire basket, lift the tree and place in the center of the hole so the root-flare at the base of the trunk will clearly be seen above ground, but the roots covered when finished.

  4. When the tree is straight and facing the the desired direction, re-check that the depth is correct; then backfill about half the hole using soil from the site amended with compost or well aged organic matter.

  5. Remove the top half (still exposed) of the wire basket and any string and burlap that may be wrapped around the trunk. IF the rootball is too soft to hold the rootball together, keep the burlap as protection of the roots until backfill is finished.

  6. Using the same soil mentioned above, continue backfilling until there is 3-4 inches left of the hole to fill.

  7. Apply water: fill the remaining hole with water; let sit and drain; and refill with water a second time. If the second watering does not adequately wet the entire rootball and backfill, then water a third time.

  8. While water is draining the last time, continue backfilling until soil is level throughout the planing site.

  9. At the outer edge of the planting hole, build a ridge about 2-3 inches high circling the hole to use as a watering well in the future.

  10. Mulch with appropriate composted mulch to to a loose depth of 3-4 inches over the entire planting site except 12 inches around closest to trunk. Slope the mulch until there is no mulch at the base of the trunk.

  11. Stake the tree only if the root system is too loose to hold the tree upright, or if the site is windy as to require staking.

  12. Future sustaining waterings are best described as “water weekly, deeply.” These waterings need to be adequate enough to soak the entire root area each time. This is usually attained by filling the “well” made by the outer ridge, letting it drain and repeating. Duplicate as necessary to complete watering. Another method is to place a hose at the base of the tree and let it trickle until watering is complete. During especially hot or dry periods it may necessary to water more than once per week.

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