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Planting a Balled and Burlap Tree

One of the biggest plant investments 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 any underground wires.

To get started locate the trees 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: Proper planting starts with the trip home from the nursery or garden center. Use a trailer, pick up or other large vehicle to safely transport your landscape investment. Wrap any part of the tree trunk that will lean or rub against the tailgate or trunk of your vehicle. Use an old piece of carpet, blanket or similar material to protect the trunk form damage. Protect the foliage on trees that have already leafed out. Wrap the leafy canopy with plastic or a tarp to prevent drying and wind damage on the ride home. Tie a red flag on the end of the tree if it extends beyond the vehicle. Or ask your nursery about delivery. It may be worth the extra money to have them safely deliver your tree right to its planting hole.


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