When you plant a tree or shrub you want to be sure to dig a good sized hole - remember, you will be planting a large root ball. Your planting hole should be at least 3 times as wide but not much deeper than the root ball - that's a big hole! You want the root ball to be be sitting on firm but well-drained soil so it won't sink after it has been planted.
Andre's motto for planting trees and shrubs:
Andre recommends a mixture of Plant-tone, rock phosphate, green sand, and peat moss or compost when planting trees and shrubs. Below are his specific instructions:
- Dig a large planting hole about as deep as the root ball and 3 times as wide.
- Spread a tarp out on the ground and as you dig your hole, put the soil on the tarp.
- On top of the soil on the tarp add:
- 8 handfuls of Plant-tone or Holly-tone for broadleaf evergreens
- 8 handfuls of rock phosphate
- 8 handfuls of green sand
- 3 - 3 gallon pails of peat moss or compost (this is important as a soil additive)
- Mix well with the native soil on the tarp.
- Back-fill the hole with some of this soil mix and tamp it down.
- Add enough so when it is tamped down and the root ball is placed in the hole, the top of the ball is 1" higher than the ground-level (this is necessary because the root ball will sink when it is watered). A leading cause of problems with Leyland cypress and many others trees and shrubs is that they get planted too deep.
- Now place the root ball in the hole and fill in around it, tamping the soil as you go.
- At the very end, water the tree well.
- If your tree is OVER 6'-8', you should probably stake it the first year.