STARTING OUT RIGHT
Proper planting is critical to the survival and long term health of your trees. You should inspect your trees in the nursery or upon delivery to your site, and refuse stock that is not healthy, well-rooted, and lacking in girdling roots in the trunk area. Use the following guidelines to direct your selection:
Specifications for Nursery Tree Quality
The planting hole should be 2-3 times as wide as the original container and only as deep. Amending the planting soil is not recommended for trees, as the roots quickly outgrow the planting hole. The top of the root ball should be slightly above soil level when finished back filling to allow for settling of the freshly dug soil. The tree crown below the soil level is a recipe for root rot as water collects next to the trunk after irrigation or rainfall. Trees should not be staked if they can stand without it, unless they are in a high wind area and likely to grow crooked before their trunks harden.
Download a free guide here: Planting Landscape Trees.