Shrub and Tree Planting
Preparation of the plant location can be one of the most important steps in ensuring a long and healthy life for the plant. There is more to it than just digging a hole and setting the plant in it.
Manually place the plant in the yard exactly where you want it. If planting multiple plants, place them in their respective spots in the yard to get a feel for how it will look. It is important to leave adequate spacing between plants, to make sure they do not crowd one another, either above or below ground.
With the plant sitting where you want it, carve a circular hole around the rootball with a shovel, so that the hole will be between two and three times the width of the bucket. Once the the circle has been carved, move the plant to the side, and dig the hole to 1.5 times the depth of the rootball.
Amending the soil is extremely important for the life of the plant. It is best to mix the native soil you have dug with 1/3 soil conditioner and 1/3 manure or compost, with 1/3 of the native soil. We personally recommend mushroom compost as it is more pleasant to deal with than manure.
Back fill the hole with your new soil mixture so that when you remove the bucket or bag from the plant, the rootball will sit about 2-3" above the ground level. This is done so that when the plant is watered, the rootball will not settle too deeply. It is important that the top of the rootball sit slightly above ground level.
Remove any materials from the plant, and set it into the hole. Continue filling the extra space around the hole with your new soil mixture. Lightly step around the plant to remove any air pockets from the soil. Water the rootball well.
Adding a protective layer of landscape fabric around the plant is an inexpensive and helpful way to prevent grass or weeds from growing around the plant. Taking the time to add this step will help keep the focus of your landscape design on the plant.
Place mulch or pine straw around the new plant. Place approximately 3" of mulch on the ground to optimize moisture around the plant. It is very important not to place the mulch against the stem or trunk of the new plant! It needs room to breath!!
Congratulations, you've just planted your first plant, and are on your way to enjoying it for many years to come!