Preparing the Tree or Shrub to be Planted

Planting a tree should be done carefully. Different types of trees require several things that we will cover here. First, it depends on where in the country you live. Some trees such as magnolia do better in the south. If you try to plant them in Michigan they will need a greenhouse. Whereas, northern trees such as aspen, or fir prefer cold weather. Plant an aspen in Georgia and the heat and humidity will do it in. So considering all of your options you decide to plant a tree in your yard. The photos in the catalogs are beautiful. They show a full size version of your tree.

So lets begin, Decide where the tree will do the best. Is it a shade loving tree or does it like lots of sunlight? After choosing the right spot dig the hole twice and deep as the container it is in. Also, make sure the hole you are digging is also three times as wide as the pot circumference. Break up the soil so that it is not hard packed.

Incorporate into the soil either organic fertilizers or vermiculite. If you have a compost pile this is a good time to use some of it. Or you can purchase a mixture of black soil and growth mix. Soak the dug out place with some water. Do not plant the tree in the middle of a very hot day or the soil could dry around the trunk and suffocate the tree. Treat it gently as you plant it. Now separate the root ball so that the tap root is visible. At this point some gardeners will actually soak the root ball of the new tree overnight so that it will get a good start. This gives it added moisture if it is a dry climate such as in Arizona.

Mound a small pile of dirt in the center of the bottom of the hole. Position the tree roots over this mound carefully. Sprinkle in soil around the roots. Keep working at it until it is completely filled. Tap lightly but firmly around the surface of the planting site.

It is important for the first few weeks to stake the tree out. This means that you secure a post to the ground. Then either with ropes or chains you attach to the post to provide a straight support until the tree can make it on its own.
Another way of doing this is to tie ropes to the trunk and stretch them out in a circular pattern staking out each rope to the ground. Either way will work it just depends on what you choose.

Remember to look at the planting depth guide that comes with your tree. It is found on the tag attached to the trunk. Not all trees are planted at the same depth.

When planting shrubs or roses follow the directions like you would for a tree except consider the spacing. Shrubs grow fuller as they mature. If a shrub will grow eight feet wide then problems will develop if you planted them two feet apart. So consider this before planting your shrubs.Also, some shrubs have large thorns and this should be considered when planting close to walkways. This same feature would be an asset if planted under a window to prevent burglars. Usually the nodule at the base of a bush should be planted at soil level. Do not bury it completely as that will hinder its growth.

Providing extra nutrients weekly will help new roots to establish on both trees and shrubs. If you are planting citrus trees however do purchase the special required citrus food for that tree. They cannot tolerate regular plant food. You can find a liquid type that attaches to the hose sprayer. This will make it easier to cover a larger area.

Planting trees can provide a way to mark an occasion. Anniversaries and to honor someone that has a birthday. A line of blossoming white pear trees look wonderful along a driveway. Just remember to give them plenty of room away from the house. And if its a willow tree plant away from water lines. Trees add so much to the property.

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