Spring is a great time to plant trees and shrubs; here are some pointers to make this event more successful.
First, avoid purchasing plants with disproportionately small root balls; transplants need lots of roots ensure rapid establishment. Select plants that have been well cared for. Signs of neglect include broken branches and bruised bark from rough handling, and wilted and dried up leaves due to infrequent watering.
Check the plants by scratching the tender bark of several twigs. On a live, healthy plant the inner bark tissue should be moist and greenish colored. Dry, brown inner bark tissue indicates a serious problem with the plant.
Choose a good site for the plants. It’s a bad idea to put a large tree under a power line, or a big shrub close to a walkway or the foundation of the house.
Plant only trees and shrubs not susceptible to frequent insect and disease attacks. Avoid trees that are weak-wooded and prone to breakage.
Prepare a suitable planting hole for the plants. Dig a wide hole and then spread out the roots of the plant like the spokes of a wagon wheel. Loosen the backfill soil so that it can be easily filled in around the outspread root system. Don’t mix anything into the backfill; it’s always best for tree establishment to refill the planting hole with the soil that came out of the hole.
Plant earlier in the season; cooler temperature and more frequent rains helps the plants adjust to their new homes. When hot weather arrives be sure to irrigate as needed to keep these plants stress free during their period of establishment.