For Jim and Connie - another bit about tree planting, or a clarification (I'm sure that you know this Jim). After you have the root ball out, find the root flare of the tree - it is where the roots begin to spread away from the stem. Make sure that this is planted above the natural soil level, never below. Measure from the root flare to the bottom of the ball, and dig the new hole to a bit less than this depth. Do not disturb the soil below this depth in the new hole. It is safer to plant the tre to high than too low. Do loosen the soil out and away from where the root ball will sit, and amend this soil if needed.
Best, Lisa in Mpls.
>Make sure you plant the tree properly. Do not dig a hole to the exact size
>of the rootball. This will create a claypot environment and its roots will
>have hard time extending out, plus the hole created in this manner may end
>of drowning the roots. The hole should be dug to about twice the size of
>the rootball. Contrary to popular belief, the root system of trees are
>primarily in the top 18" of the soil. Being only 5' tall, the tree will
>probably will not need staking.
>Remember, the first year of a transplanted tree's life is the most
>important. You need to take special measures to ensure that it is watered
>properly. Being in the south, I put a water retentive polymer around the
>rootball when planting the tree. This crystal like amendment swells up like
>jello when exposed to water, then releases it slowly to surrounding plants
>or trees. If you have alot of rain normally during the season, I would
>forego using it. I also put down some slow release fertilizer designed for
>Transplant the tree as soon as possible. Spring is here.
>One more thing, put a 3 to 4 inch layer of wood chips or leaf mulch around
>the tree (3' out from tree itself) . I can't say enough about mulching. Do
>not pile the mulch to a foot or more around the tree. We have a bunch of
>idiots around here that seem to think the higher the mulch around the tree,
>the better. I think they must have attended the Bozo School of
>Hope this helps,
>Jim, sometimes vegetable gardener, sometimes tree planter.