Planting a new tree or shrub in your garden is not actually a difficult task. However, there are some steps that you need to complete to ensure that the planting is done correctly. It is important that you know when to plant and how to plant the tree or shrub to ensure that they grow correctly.
When To Plant
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, you should look at planting your trees and shrubs between October and April. Of course, you will need to consider the weather conditions at the time because you need to avoid planting in the waterlogged or frozen ground. If you are planting container-grown trees and shrubs, this can be done at any time, but it is recommended that you plant during the fall or winter
If you are going to be getting bare-root or root balled trees and shrubs, you should plant them immediately. If this is not possible, you will need to plant them in a temporary container to ensure that the roots do not dry out. You should then plant them as soon as possible.
Preparing The Site
Before you plant a tree or shrub, you need to prepare the site. The first step is to loosen the soil to a depth that is equal to the height of the root ball of the tree or shrub. The loosened area should also be over a wide area because this will decrease compaction and will increase soil drainage.
If the soil is sandy or heavy, you will need to incorporate organic matter to improve the quality of the soil. You do not have to add fertilizer to the soil before you plant because this has not been found to make much difference. If the soil is often waterlogged, you will need to plant trees and shrubs that are suited to wet soil or install drainage.
Planting The Tree Or Shrub
Once you are ready to plant, you need to remove the plant from the container or fabric wrapping they are in. If the plant had been pot bound, you should trim the roots and spread them, to get an idea of their spread. This is not something that needs to be done with roots that are in a root ball and have not been in a pot.
You should then start digging the hole for the plant. The planting hole should not be deeper than the root ball but should be at least 3 times the width of the root system. If the sides of the planting hole are compacted, you should break up the soil before you plant.
Once the hole is ready, you can place the tree or shrub into the hole. The first flare of roots needs to be in line with the surface soil when the plant sits in the hole. Deep planting is not recommended because it will prevent air movement which is something that the root system requires.
When the plant is in place, you should start to carefully refill the hole. You should place the soil between and around the roots to remove any air pockets. If you do not do this, the topsoil will collapse and the roots will be exposed which will cause problems.