Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery, Inc

Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery, Inc

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Advice & How To's

"From the Ground Up" – Planting Conifers

Prepared by Chub Harper, Moline, IL

BALLED AND BURLAPPED

  1. Select a site that will allow the tree to reach mature size. Avoid overhead and underground utilities. Check with your utility company before you dig. This applies to all trees when selecting a location.
  2. Dig a planting hole at least three times the width of the ball. Slope the sides upward to form a saucer. Dig no deeper than the depth of the root ball so that it rests on solid undisturbed soil. The depth of the hole is most accurately measured by laying a straight stick across the hole at grade level.
  3. Plant trees at the same depth they were growing or several inches higher in poor drainage situations. Make sure root flare is at or above ground surface.
  4. Place ball in the hole and re-check planting depth. Before back filling cut and remove all twine around truck and top of ball and lay back burlap. Cut and remove wire baskets.
  5. Backfill with the original soil. Avoid amending the back fill. Amending the soil should be the exception rather than the rule. This would depend upon how abnormal the site soil may be. Firm back fill uniformly around the ball to where the hole is ¾ filled. Fill hole with water and let drain down and settle.
  6. Complete back fill and water again.
  7. Mulch with porous organic mulch to a 3" depth. Do not apply mulch at base of stem, butress flair should show. Most balled trees do not require staking unless they are located in a very windy location. When staking use broad, belt-like material around stem (some sway is optimal). Remove stakes and belts after first growing season.
  8. Keep the roots moist but do not drown the newly planted tree.

CONTAINER GROWN

  1. Remove plant from container. Keep roots moist and covered until planting.
  2. Examine root system, encircled and impacted roots are usually present. IMPORTANT - to prevent them from girdling later either disentangle and spread the roots (even though some may break) or, if they cannot be disentangled, cut them cleanly with a sharp edge into four equally spaced vertical cuts.
  3. Dig a planting hole at least three times the width of the container size. Slope the sides upward to form a saucer shape. Dig the hole no deeper than the depth of the root mass so that it rests on solid undisturbed soil.
  4. Plant trees at the same depth they were growing or several inches higher in poor drainage situations. The depth of the hole is most accurately measured by laying a straight stick across the hole at grade level. Back fill with the original soil. Avoid amending the back fill. Amending the soil should be the exception rather than the rule. This would depend upon how abnormal the site soil may be. Firm back fill uniformly around the root mass to where the hole is 3/4 filled. Fill hole with water and let drain down and settle.
  5. Complete back fill and water again.
  6. Mulch with porous organic mulch to a 3" depth. Do not apply mulch at base of stem. Most container trees do not require staking unless they are located in a very windy location. When staking use broad belt-like material around stem (some sway is optimal). Remove stakes and belts after the first growing season.
  7. Keep the roots moist but do not drown the newly planted tree. Container grown plants require special watering attention until established because the original container media may dry out before the surrounding back fill. Check moisture carefully during dry spells.