Plant new trees and shrubs CORRECTLY!
Your trees and shrubs are probably one of the biggest investments you have in your landscape!
Don't risk losing them due to improper planting.
The secret to success is to prepare a perfect planting hole to get them off to a strong start.
Just a few years back, the horticulture industry discovered that we were planting new trees and shrubs at the wrong depth.
- We used to recommend that you prepare the planting hole 2 times the width and 1 1/2 times the depth of the root ball.
- We have now learned that it is far better to prepare a hole that is three times wider but no deeper than the root ball size. This places the root ball on firm but well-drained soil so it doesn't sink after planting.
Andre's motto for planting trees and shrubs:
"Plant them high - Never die!"
The planting depth is determined by the root flare, the point where the roots start to spread out at the base of the trunk. The root flare must be visible after filing the hole with the back-fill.
We recommend that for a 24 inch by 24 inch root ball ...
- prepare a hole 5 feet wide and 24 inches deep.
- You want the root ball to rest on top of undisturbed soil. This prevents it from sinking later on - one of the main causes of death for many trees and shrubs.
- add organic fertilizer and amendments according to the Viette recommendations for trees and shrubs.
- organic matter such as good quality compost should be used in the back-fill around the root ball, not underneath.
- mulch to maintain even moisture levels but be sure you don't over-mulch the plant.
- Use only 2-3 inches of mulch.
- Staking a newly planted tree is usually not necessary. If the site is very windy or the tree has started to lean supporting the tree with flexible staking that allows the trunk to sway in the wind is recommended. Trees, which are allowed to sway in the wind, will develop a better taper and a stronger root system.
- Keep your trees and shrubs well-watered during the first year. Unless there is a soaking rain, slowly pour 2-3 bucketfuls of water around the roots every two weeks. During a hot, dry summer, it may be necessary to water every week to ten days.