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What you need:
  • Spade or shovel
  • Garden fork
  • 2 wooden stakes
  • Tree ties
  • Mulch
Mark out the planting hole with a shovel. The hole should be about three times the width of the pot.
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Dig a hole approximately 1-1/2 times the height of the pot.
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Scarify the sides of the hole with a fork. This will make it easier for the roots to penetrate the surrounding soil.
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Pound in 2 cedar stakes at outward facing angles. Leave enough room for the root ball to sit between them. The stakes will provide support for the tree as it establishes itself over the next year.
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Water the tree thoroughly and remove it from its pot. Tease out the roots with your hands or a hand-held cultivator.
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Backfill some soil into the hole. Next, place the tree in the center of the hole. Lay a dowel over the hole to gauge the planting depth. Plant the tree at the same level as it was growing before. Add or remove soil as necessary to achieve the proper planting depth.
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Once the tree is positioned at the right level, backfill the rest of the soil into the hole. Tamp the soil down with the back of a shovel to remove any air pockets.
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If you have well draining soil or live in a dry area, create a water catching moat around the tree. If you have poorly draining soil or live in a wet area, plant the tree on a slight mound so water drains away from the root ball.
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Fasten ties to the trunk of the tree. The ties will have to remain in place for the first year, until the tree can support itself. If the ties around the trunk are too tight, the tree will grow into them damaging itself.
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Water the tree and mulch to a depth of 2-3". Keep the mulch from touching the trunk of the tree. The mulch will help retain moisture while the tree is establishing itself. Keep the soil moist for the first year or so after the tree is planted.