Once the site has been selected, follow these steps:
Planting Hole Size – “Twice as wide but not very deep” is the best formula for mid-Missouri tree planting. Roots generally grow horizontally, rather than downward. For heavy clay soils, dig even wider than recommended as simply loosening the soil increases the success of planting.
Soil Amendments – Whether to amend soils at the time of planting is a commonly asked question. The root balls of B&B trees consist of real soil, and these trees are going into real soil. Therefore, soil amendments are not necessary.
However, we recommend amending the soil of containerized shrubs and trees because they are already growing in a soil-less mix. These roots are not accustomed to the heavy, clay-based soils of central Missouri. Amending the soil with cotton burr compost or other form of organic matter allows the roots a transition zone where they can adjust to our native soil.
Organic matter, mixed at a rate up to 50%, not only loosens the soil, but adds a food source for the soil microbes (essential for healthy plant growth). Organic matter also is a mild source of nutrition and improves poorly drained soils.
Fertilizing – At the time of planting, a new tree doesn’t require a lot of nutrition, however using a mild liquid fertilizer and rooting hormone will effectively stimulate new roots. This root stimulator is mixed with water and applied at the time of the first watering.
Read the other articles about Tree and Shrub Planting for information about mulching, watering, and more.