Step 5: Position the tree

positioning the tree
Photo: Brian Wilder
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Carefully carry or roll the tree into the hole.

Stand back and view the tree as a helper slowly rotates it. Look for the tree's best face (every tree has one) and position it so the face is aimed in the most prominent direction—typically toward the street.

Remove the wire basket from the root ball with bolt cutters or metal snips.

Tip: To avoid damage, have a helper support the crown of the tree as you move it.
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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