Planting Trees and Shrubs

Here are a few tips for planting trees and shrubs. The first thing to think about is the root of the plant. Generally, trees and shrubs purchased from a nursery come bare root, container-grown, or with soil-bound roots snuggly fixed in place in burlap. While other planting needs vary, most plants will need to be set in holes that are three times wider than their root spreads and approximately one and a half times the depth of their roots.


The earth removed to create the hole for your new plant will need to be amended so that your have aerated soil which will effectively retain moisture. This can usually be achieved by working a two to one mixture of loam and peat moss into the soil. The freshly amended soil should then be returned to the hole until it is about one-third refilled.


Next, set your tree or shrub into the hole, making sure that it does not set too low, which can kill your new garden addition. Once you have achieved a set level, so that the soil marks around the trunk are level with the ground, spread the roots inside the hole.


Be sure to remove all extraneous material such as pressed-fiber pots, which can kill your new plant even though they are intended to rot after planting. Also, roots that are close to the base of the trunk that might strangle your newly installed plant need to be cut away.


For a tree or shrub which has had its roots tightly wrapped in burlap, the burlap wrapping should be removed from about one-third of the plant. Determine the juncture of the trunk and roots beneath the burlap to situate the plant accordingly. This will help you avoid planting it too deeply. Once your plant is in a level position refill the hole with your amended soil. Immediately give your new plant a thorough watering and add mulch.


Following these simple steps will ensure a healthy new addition to your garden.

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