Always begin with the best quality nursery stock. Spend a few dollars more to insure the future growth of your tree. A few dollars more investment will make a big difference in how sturdy your tree will be in a few years. Go to a reliable nursery or garden center.
In your new tree you need to look for a strong straight trunk and well spaced branches. There should be no breakage or bruising of the bark. Your tree should have lush foliage with no sign of wilting, disease, or insect activity.
Trees from nurseries come bare root in the spring. These trees are harvested in the fall, they over winter them then ship them out. Trees also come in 3 to7 gallon and even larger pots, fiber containers or boxes. Make sure your selected tree is not pot-bound , with it's roots circling the inside of the pot. Look for white root tips just showing inside the pot this will ensure continued rapid growth.
Most often you will find trees that have been balled wrapped in burlap. These trees are referred to as “B&B” trees. These trees are dug when they are still dormant and the roots are wrapped in burlap and tied with twine. Though this is a common custom, this can cause stress on the tree due to root loss as a good portion of the trees root may be lost. You must use extra care in storage and transportation with a balled and burlaped tree.
Plant bare root trees as early as you can work the ground in the spring while they are still dormant. Container trees can be planted any time. They are best planted in the fall as this gives a head start on spring growth before summer heat arrives. Early spring and early fall are the best times to plant trees. This allows time for the roots to be established before very hot or very cold weather arrives.
For all trees dig a hole two feet wider than the root ball. Make the hole only as deep as the root ball. Pile soil on a tarp if you are planting in an established lawn. Plant new trees in fertile soil that has very good drainage. Break all clods in the escavated soil. For sandy or gravely soil mix one third fertile loam with the backfill soil.
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