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For best results, plant trees in Autumn around the time when leaves are falling off. This allows the tree to focus on building roots during winter instead of being divided between root and leaf growing if planted during the Spring.
- Dig a hole twice the width and depth of the rootball or pot. Place the excavated soil on cardboard, a tarp, or similar surface to prevent the soil from being lost in the surrounding vegetation.
- Do not add any amendments into the hole.
- Score the sides of the rootball if the soil types are different and the rootball is large.
- Place the plant into the hole with the soil level of the transplant equal to the soil level of the ground. If the tree was grafted onto a rootstock, orient the graft to face the predominant wind direction. Ideally the graft, if there is one, should be about six inches above the ground to prevent the graft from rooting.
- Back fill the soil into the hole. Position any vegetation cut from the soil when making the hole upside down on top of the soil to smother it and prevent it from competing with the tree.
- Add amendments.
- Place compost from different sources on top of the soil to inoculate the soil with microbial life.
- On top of the compost add a layer of cardboard for a source of carbon and to smother surrounding plants.
- Add wood chips on top of the cardboard as a mulch.
- Add a fine layer of clay on top of the woodchips as a source of nutrients.
- If surrounding soil is especially alive with microbial activity the amendments may have been consumed. If this is the case, reapply the amendments in the same fashion.
- Wrap 1/4" hardware cloth around the base of the tree to protect the tree from voles and other herbivores with the poky end down. The hardware cloth should be at least one foot high and formed to the tree to keep its coil. Fill the void between the hardware cloth and trunk with a cup or two of pea-gravel.