Trees are expensive so give them every opportunity to survive when you plant them. Following these tree planting hacks will do just that.
- Plant your trees when they are dormant. Dormant trees will have less transplant shock when they are moved to their new location. Trees are dormant in the Northeast from late fall to early spring. For deciduous trees this means the leaves have fallen off the trees and they have no signs of growth.
- Dig your hole deeper than the surrounding ground. By planting the tree slightly deeper than the neighboring soil you will be assuring your tree receives ample water during each rainfall. A depression just 2-3” deeper than the adjoining ground will provide your tree just enough water to thrive in its new location.
- Plant your trees into holes that are twice to 1.5 times bigger than the trees root ball. If your tree was potted there is a good chance the roots out grew the pot size. A root bound tree might need to have its roots trimmed. They will definitively need to be untangled. Dig your hole with consideration to the roots. Loose soil will be easier for the roots to grow into and search for water and nutrients.
- Once your tree is in the ground you have one final step before you admire your new tree. Be sure to mulch with wood chips, straw, or shredded leaf matter. Mulching a few feet around the base of your tree will ensure that your tree isn’t competing with grass or other weeds for water and nutrients. Be sure to keep your mulch at least 2” off the trunk of the tree. Using a tree guard in coordination with mulch will give your newly tree the best chance to survive in its new location.