Planting trees and shrubs appears an easy task -- deceptively so! Many plants die due to improper planting you must take steps to improve the likelihood of survival.
- Prior to planting, determine whether the tree or shrub likes sun or shade, and what its spacing and watering requirements are. For instance, don't locate a plant that craves water next to one that prefers dry conditions: their needs will be incompatible.
- The width of the hole should be twice that of the rootball. The depth should be kept a bit shallower, to avoid puddling and consequent rotting.
- When you reach the bottom of the hole, resist the temptation to break up the soil beneath. You would think that this would help the tree or shrub, allowing its roots to penetrate deeper. Instead, it could cause the tree or shrub to sink, inviting rot during a wet winter.
- Mound up the soil in a ring around the newly transplanted tree or shrub, forming a berm that will catch water like a basin. This will help you achieve your main objective from here on out -- keeping the new transplant's, roots well watered, until it becomes established.
- Spread a 3" layer of landscape mulch around the new plant. But keep it a few inches away from the base of the tree or shrub, to promote air circulation and to prevent collar rot.
- Then water. The first summer will be difficult for the tree or shrub, unless it gets plenty of water. Watering is as essential as anything to success in shrub and tree transplanting but the most common fault of garden plants dying is due to overwatering, so be conservative and adjust your watering frequency to suit the site and weather conditions. Watering once a week in summer is adequate in most cases.
- When should you conduct your shrub and tree planting? For most trees and shrubs late winter or early spring are the best times for planting. Autumn would be the second best time. In summer it' esessential you have an adequate supply of water.
- Initial watering following planting is very important as it rinses fine soils around the tiny root fibres, so give it a good soak on day one.