Step 4: Measure the depth of the hole

measuring the depth of the tree hole
Photo: Brian Wilder
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Drive a stake (or your shovel) into the ground beside the hole and tie a string to it at grass level.

Pull the string taut across the hole and measure down from it to the bottom of the hole.

If necessary, dig out more soil to reach the desired depth. Then use the shovel to scrape the bottom of the hole flat.

Dust the hole with superphosphate, which will promote a healthy root system, following the directions for your size tree on the packaging.
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    Tools List

    • pointed shovel
      Pointed shovel
    • pickax
      Pickax
    • bolt cutter
      Bolt cutters,
      to cut wire basket on root ball
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • bypass pruners
      Bypass pruners,
      to trim broken branches
    • tarp
      Plastic tarp,
      to hold dirt shoveled from hole
    • strapping
      Strapping
    • paint sprayer
      Spray paint,
      to mark the hole outline
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      to cut away the burlap
    • hand cultivator
      Cultivator,
      to loosen the root ball

    Shopping List

    1. TREE

    2. 3-4-3 FERTILIZER

    3. SUPERPHOSPHATE

    4. PLASTIC TARP

    to hold dirt shoveled from hole



    5. STRING

    6. WOOD STAKE

    to tie off string



    7. DRIP-IRRIGATION BAGS

    8. SPRAY PAINT

    to mark the hole outline