Know What You Want to Plant: Evergreen trees do not shed their leaves in the winter, but stay green-year round, while deciduous trees seasonally shed their leaves. It's important to ask yourself.
- How large do you want the tree to get?
- Do you want it to be evergreen or deciduous?
- What's its purpose? Shade, privacy or decoration?
- Do you want it to flower?
- Do you want to attract birds/butterflies?
Decide Your Location and Sun Exposure: Before planting any tree it is important to consider the foundation of where you are wanting to plant. Consider its overall height and width once its reaches maturity.
Step 1: Remove any weeds and weed roots in the soil where you will be planting your tree.
Step 2: Dig a hole 3-6 times as big as the root ball. This is the most important step. Spend time making a nice big "bed" for the tree, but make sure the hole is not deeper than the plant's previous environment.
Step 3: Incorporate Pike Planting Mix at a 50/50 ratio with the native soil. Our native soil does not drain well because it is too compact, amending provides nutrients and breaks it up for better drainage and allows tender new roots to push through.
Step 4: Take the root ball out of its original container and place in the hole. Be sure to take a look at the root system. If they are densely bound in a circular pattern or have started growing in the shape of the container, it's important to break up the pattern. Planting a root bound plant makes it difficult for the plant to take up water because its roots are so tightly wound. It may feel like you are damaging the roots while breaking them up, but don't worry. It is better to give the roots a fresh start than continuing to constrict them.
Step 5: Once the roots are separated, place the root ball in the hole and back fill around the root ball with the mixed soil. Eliminate air pockets by lightly tamping the soil around the plant roots to ensure good soil to root contact.
Step 6: Water thoroughly right after planting and again hours later. A deep water is best to build a better root system and ensure a strong, healthy plant.
Step 7: Add a 3 inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture and insulate roots near the surface. Be sure to cover a wide area around the base to reduce competition from weeds and grass, but don't allow mulch to pile up against the trunk.