Handling Containerized Trees
- Always pick up a tree by the container rim to prevent damage to the base of the trunk and the root mass.
- Store in a shaded location and keep the roots moist until planted.
- Containerized trees can be stored 7-14 days if the roots are kept moist until they can be planted.
- Find the supporting roots within the container that are either on the surface or covered by the soil.
- The supporting roots will help you determined how deep of hole you will need to dig.
- A Increasing chance of wind-throw and premature decline from roots that strangle the stem are problems that can come from a plant that is buried to deep.
Digging the Hole
- The hole should be 2 to 3 times as big as the container.
- 10-12 inches deep should be the size of your hole. Make sure that the root collar is even with the ground level when planted.
Root Mass Inspection
- Remove the container by placing the tree on its side.
- Make four to five cuts across the sides and bottom of the root mass using a knife to cut any circling roots.
- Use your fingers to straighten out and loosen up the roots.
- Always make sure that the tree is straight before filling.
Back-fill the Hole
- Mulch, Compost or Fertilizers are not good substitutes for planting soil
- Make sure all soil chunks are broken up.
- To firm soil gently step around the tree base.
- To increase tree growth, try using organic mulch (i.e. composted wood chips).
- Use the organic mulch around the tree in a circle about 18 to 36 inches wide.
- Make sure the organic mulch is 3 inches away from the tree base so it prevents moisture buildup.
- Eliminate air pockets in the soil by slowly watering the tree.
- 10 – 15 gallons is the initial amount of water to use.
- During the first few years water is critical for survival.
- Water heavy every 7 to 10 days instead of everyday for a deep root system.