If you're planting new trees and shrubs this spring, don't
spoil them by enriching the soil with organic matter.
A hole full of compost and soft organic matter is a comfortable
area for the roots, and they aren't likely to spread into
the surrounding soil. If the roots don't anchor themselves
firmly by spreading, the plant is likely to be toppled
by strong winds. Here are a few other tips on planting
trees and shrubs:
Labels attached to your plant by wires can girdle
the branch, so remove them when you plant.
Set the tree in the soil at the same level that it
grew in the nursery. Look for a dark mark on the trunk
that indicates the depth.
protect the trunk from sunscald, rodents, and lawnmower
nicks, use a treewrap from soil level to the lowest
you use mulch, don't allow it to touch the trunk of
your plant from all angles to see that it is sitting
straight before filling the hole.
Stakes often cause more damage than they prevent,
so use them only when planting in a windy, unprotected
area, or if you are planting a top-heavy tree. If
you use a stake, leave an inch or two of slack in
the wire and cover the part that encircles the tree
with a protective covering.
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