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What you need:
  • Shovel
  • Garden fork or cultivator
  • Mulch
  • Scissors or knife
Outline a planting area 3 times the width of the root ball by cutting into the turf with a shovel. Remove the turf.
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Dig the hole twice as wide, but only as deep as the root ball.
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Scarify the sides of the hole with a hand held cultivator or fork. This makes it easier for the tree's root system to expand into the surrounding soil.
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Place the tree in the hole, using a dowel to gauge the proper depth. Plant the tree at the same depth as it was growing, or slightly higher. When the tree is planted correctly, the soil on the top of the rootball will be visible. Mulch the newly-planted tree with 2-3 inches of mulch. Keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk of the tree.
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Remove any twine or wire from the burlap ball. Ties that are left on the root ball, especially around the trunk, will eventually girdle the tree and kill it.
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If the burlap is synthetic, remove it altogether. If it is made of natural fibers, loosen or cut away the top layer and roll it down around the base of the root ball. Check the planting depth once more to make sure the top of the rootball is at or slightly above the level of the surrounding soil