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Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

One of the biggest plant investments you make for your landscape is your trees. Help insure their longevity by planting them right. 

Start with a call to 811 at least three days before digging in.  This free service will mark the location of all underground wires.  This one call can save you money and even your life.

After purchasing the tree, locate the tree’s root flare before you begin digging. This is the area where the roots gently curve away from the trunk.  Then measure the distance from the root flare to the bottom of the rootball. 

Dig a saucer shaped hole at least twice preferably three to 5 times wider and to the depth you just measured.  Be sure to roughen the sides of the planting hole.

Next, set the tree in the planting hole.  Once positioned, remove the wire basket, peel back and cut away the burlap.  Fill the hole with the existing soil and water thoroughly to remove any air pockets.

Mulch and water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist

A bit more information:  Bareroot trees are available from some nurseries, conservation groups and mail order catalogues.  The trees are dug from the growing field, soil removed and roots packed in peat moss or another moisture holding material. The trees are less expensive, lighter weight but need a bit more care before and after planting.  Keep the roots cool and moist and plant bareroot trees as soon as possible. Locate the root flare and plant so the root flare is at or slightly above the soil surface.  Create a cone of soil in the center of the hole, set the tree on this cone and spread out the roots.  Fill the hole with the existing soil, water, mulch and stake if needed.

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Ixonia, WI

June 9, 2020
Milwaukee Public Library
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Ixonia, WI

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