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Here are five steps to the successful planting of a tree.
* Put the tree in place and look at it. Walk around the tree. Turn it so its best side is facing toward your view. Make sure the trunk is straight.
* Check the root level. Lay a long piece of board or hoe handle across the hole. The top of the rootball, or the spot where there is a color change on the trunk of a bare root tree, is where the soil should reach. Planting too deep or shallow can kill a tree.
* Fill the hole halfway with soil. Gently step on it. Step back and make sure the tree has not tipped. Gently fill the hole with water, and let it soak in. Check the tree again and add soil up to the proper level.
* Create a shallow berm around the tree. For the next year or so, whenever the weather is dry, fill the berm repeatedly, until no more water soaks in.
* Spread one to three inches of mulch over the planting hole. This is enough to keep weeds down and conserve moisture. Do not mulch any deeper than this. Mulch applied too thick can invite rodents and other pests.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|