Proper tree planting and care
1. Dig a hole at least twice as wide as root ball but not deeper. If the soil is very sandy or hard, mix in some compost or peat moss.
2. Remove plant from container. Make vertical slices in the roots with a sharp utility knife. Slightly pull roots outward, being more aggressive if roots are badly circled or rootbound. If balled in burlap, cut top string and remove as much burlap and wire basket as possible without breaking root ball.
3. Plant root ball so that top is at, or slightly above soil line. Do not plant too deep.
4. Tamp soil mix firmly around rootball, eliminating air pockets.
5. Do not replace sod around trunk.
6. Mulch with a maximum of three inches of mulch.
7. Water thoroughly (check at least weekly) until roots are established, about two growing seasons.
8. Stake for one year. Use wide belting around trunk, not wire, twine or hose.
9. The trunk of varieties with tender bark (honeylocust and maple) may be wrapped with tree wrap for the first and second winters to prevent sun scald and blistering. Wrap in fall after leaves have dropped and remove in spring once leaves begin to grow.
10. Do not fertilize until one year after planting.