Currently plant availability to the homeowner is most likely a plant which has never been placed in real North Eastern U.S. soil (container grown). Here is a brief guide for those inclined to plant a container grown tree.

Step One:

Make sure that you understand the needs of the tree. Does it like full sun, partial shade, full shade. When you find the proper location (should be done before purchasing) prepare to dig your hole.

Step Two:

Determine the diameter of the hole for the tree. At chest height measure the diameter of the tree trunk. For every inch of diameter of trunk you will need a hole 1 ft in diameter per inch. Depth is determined when you take the tree out of the pot. Add six inches more of depth than the height of the ball. All soil should be placed on a tarp in proximity of the whole being dug.

Step Three:

Add organic matter to the soil at the bottom of the hole. Don’t use peat moss. It could pack too tight and cause problems. Use a good mulch high in organic matter. When packing new soil around the tree, the mulch adds air to the soil. Plus, as the mulch breaks down you are creating an environmental situation for helpful macro/micro organisms to prosper.

Step Four:

Amend the soil which was taken out of the ground (now on the tarp). Add the mulch to this soil. Mix thoroughly.

Step Five:

Since the tree was grown in a container, take note that the roots will be hardened off. That is the root ball holds shape (If you take the tree out of the container and the root mass falls totally apart return the tree). Carefully with a shovel loosen the ball. Pry the roots outwardly 2-3” will do. This step must be done.

Step Six:

Place amended soil around the ball of the tree while adding water.

Step Seven:

When it comes to the soil being filled around the ball of the tree (level to the height of the surrounding ground) create a 4” high wall around the new tree with soil. This will help to hold water.

Step Eight:

Dress your base with mulch. Water fill the walled area you created around the base of the tree.

Step Nine:

Dress the whole area around the tree with mulch. You are now finished. For the next month and a half (six weeks) water three times a week regardless of rain. Fill the area under the tree in this fashion- fill the area around the tree till your man-made bowl is filled. Let it drain and fill again. After 6 weeks fill this bowl twice a week until established (look for new leaf growth).