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Article 4Fall Planting of Trees, Shrubs and Perennials
The fall is one of the best times to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. The soil is still warm from the summer so when you plant your tree, shrub or perennial it's roots grow quickly and get well established before the cold sets in. In addition all that fall rain helps to keep the plant well watered reducing transplant shock. The result of planting in the fall is bigger, healthier and more floriferous plants next spring. It's almost like you planted them a full year ago.
Planting a Tree or Shrub
Select a site that is in full sun. Dig the hole twice as wide as the root ball (container), and no deeper than the height of the root ball. The soil that you dig out of the hole is what you use to backfill around the root ball. No soil amendments are recommended when planting a tree; therefore, no compost, peat moss, or shredded pine bark should be added to the backfill. If the tree is in a pot gently remove it from the pot. If roots are growing in a circular manner around the root ball slice them in three different places. If the tree is wrapped and tied in burlap remove any string and open up the burlap. You don't have to completely remove the burlap although I prefer to do so. Place the tree in the hole and centre it. Fill in around the tree with the soil you removed from the hole. Gently tamp down with your foot.
After planting the tree, build a 4-inch tall berm around the edge of the hole. Fill the berm with a mulch (i.e. shredded bark, compost). The mulch and berm make it easier to water the tree and reduce weed competition.
For most trees, staking is not recommended; however, if the tree trunk is not sturdy enough, use two stakes, one on either side of the tree, and give the trunk support for the first year only. Below are diagrams of a typical tree planting.
Right after planting, water the tree in by filling the bermed basin with water. This will settle the existing soil around the root ball. For the first week after planting, lightly water the tree every day (about one pint of water each day). The second week, water every other day with about one quarter of water. During week three, water every third day with two quarters of water. Week four and beyond, water once a week if needed. The goal is to wean the tree slowly off of supplemental irrigation, and get the root system large enough for the tree to thrive on natural rainfall.
REMEMBER: These are just guidelines. Use your index finger to check the soil moisture under the mulch. If the soil is cool to the touch, do not water. If it is warm and dry, then water. More plants are killed by over-watering than by under-watering.
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fertilizer & soil
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links & resources
› A Checklist of Things To Do in the November Garden
› Poinsettia Care in the Home
› Fall Clean-up
› Fall Planting of Trees, Shrubs and Perennials
› Planting Perennials
› A Checklist of Things To Do in the December Garden
› January To Do List
› Fall Planting
› Growing Aloe Plants
› Pruning your Clematis
› Growing Jade Plants
› Planting and Growing Bulbs
› Pleione Formosana
› Caring for Sarracenia - North American Pitcher Plants
› Caring for the Venus Fly Trap - Dionaea muscipula
› Growing Winter Heather
and many more
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