Planting Potted Trees & Shrubs
Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot but no deeper. The root ball should rest on a solid soil foundation. Remove the container before you plant, carefully handling the root ball. A broken root ball can mean a dead plant. Handle the plant by the root ball and not the trunk when carefully placing it in the hole.
Backfill the hole using mostly the native soil removed from the hole using a small amount of compost. At this time ensure the top of the root ball is slightly above soil level to allow for settling. Never plant the root ball below the soil level or it will mean death to the plant. Fill the hole and firm the soil around the plant. Water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and to eliminate any air pockets.
It’s a good idea to use Root & Grow, a root stimulant, with this first watering. However, do not fertilize until next spring. It is also beneficial to use Espoma Bio Tone Starter Plus as a starter supplement.
Before calling it a day, add up to 4-inches of mulch around the base of the plant. Avoid the trunk as a “mulch volcano” will do major damage to your investment. Mulch helps keep down weeds and conserves soil moisture.