a fledgling tree in a flowerpot
Photo: JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University
• Plant in early spring or early fall to avoid heat stress.

• Dig a hole in good soil that's twice as wide as the root ball's diameter and about 2 inches shallower than the root ball's depth. If the soil is compacted or poorly drained, make the hole the same depth but three to five times wider than the root ball.

• Stake trees unable to stand on their own, setting supports on the trunk as low as possible to keep the trunk upright.

• Create a berm of loose soil around the outer edge of the planting hole to retain and direct water to the root ball. Water consistently.

• After planting, mulch to suppress weed growth around the tree. Keep mulch away from the trunk itself to avoid disease problems.
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