- Shovel or spade
- Burlap-wrapped plant
- Stakes (optional)
- Tree wrap (optional)
1. Examine the tree before you buy it. Reject those with gouges, scrapes, or wounds on the trunk. Look, too, for girdling roots encircling the base of the trunk under the burlap wrapping.
2. Spread a tarp for the soil. Dig a hole with sloping sides as deep as the root ball is high, and at least half greater than the width. Don't add anything to the hole or soil.
3. Remove any protective outer wrapping, but leave the burlap on to hold the roots while you position the plant in the hole. Untie the branches to determine the most pleasing aspect.
4. Cut away as much burlap as you can. Roots grow laterally, so fabric under the ball can remain. Be sure the top of the root ball -- where the roots flare out from the trunk -- is at or above ground level.
5. Use the plain loose soil on the tarp to fill in the hole around the root ball. Water it when the hole is half full to prevent air pockets. Check the root ball level again and raise if it has sunk.
Continued on page 3: Steps 6-8