In handling trees during transport and unloading, be sure to avoid damaging the root ball. Dropping the tree to the ground or handling it in a rough manner will possibly cause the root ball to disintegrate, jeopardizing the tree’s chances of survival.
During transport, cover the trees to avoid wind burn.
The trees should be planted promptly, as the root balls tend to dry out much more rapidly out of the ground.
Dig a hole that measures 36 inches across by 18 inches deep, assuming that you are planting a tree with our standard 30 inch root ball. If the soil is of poor quality, make the hole larger.
Set the tree next to the hole. Your root ball is contained in a wire basket, there is no need to remove it. Also Leave the burlap in place: they are intended to be planted with the tree, and will rot in the ground in time. Removing the burlap or basket may cause the root ball to fall apart.
Place some leaf grow in the bottom of the hole, and check that the final hole depth is the same as the depth of the root ball. The top of the root ball should be level with the surrounding ground after planting.
Gently place the tree into the hole, and make sure that it is standing upright.
Fill in around the root ball with a 50:50 mixture of good quality topsoil and leaf grow. Work the mixture in around the root ball to avoid leaving any air pockets. Just before finishing, cut the rope and untie the exposed burlap. Do not mound extra dirt up under the tree, but use it to form a raised ring at the edge of the hole.
Remember, it is best to spend a bit of extra time and money to get the best soil, as well as leaf grow, with which to plant your tree. The tree will recover from transplant shock much sooner if its roots are growing in good soil conditions. Trees over 4′ in height should be staked to prevent loosening of the root ball until ground has settled and root growth has begun. The stakes can be removed after 1 year.
After you are done planting the tree, spread several inches of mulch around the base of the tree. Mulch helps seal moisture in, and reduces evaporation from the root ball.
Water the tree 2 or 3 times each week to keep the root ball moist. Apply the water slowly to allow it to seep down. Do not overwater, as this may promote the development of root rot.
Avoid using harsh chemical fertilizers during the first year after transplant.
Check your tree periodically for any signs of insect damage, as from mites or bag worms. If any is found, apply an appropriate insecticide. Consult with your lawn and garden center for the best product and application method.