If you are planting a ball and burlap tree, where the root ball is surrounded by burlap sack and the tree’s root system is contained within the ball of soil, you do not want a tree that has dried out. Make sure your tree’s root ball is kept moist until planting time.
Here are steps for planting a ball and burlap tree:
- Make sure you have the proper tools: shovel, garden fork, mulch, scissors (or knife), two wooden stakes or tree supports and tree ties.
- Dig a hole that is three times as wide as the root ball and the same depth as the ball.
- Use the garden fork to scarify (loosen the soil) the edges of the hole. Loosening the soil makes it easier for the roots to properly expand.
- Place the tree in the hole and use the scissors to remove the twine or wire from the ball. If the burlap is synthetic, remove it. If it is natural, loosen the top layer and roll it down to the base of the ball.
- Fill in the hole with soil, tamping (packing) it down as you go.
- If your climate is dry, or if water drains away quickly, dig a moat around the tree to retain water.
- Fasten the tree ties to the stakes and the tree, not too tightly, to ensure that the tree has adequate support for its first year in the new area.
- Making sure that the mulch does not touch the tree trunk, apply two to four inches of mulch around the planting area.
- For the next year, water the tree well and keep the soil moist.