How should I plant my container grown tree with thick roots?
If the roots are thick along the inside of the pot and growing in a circle, it’s important to massage those roots loose so they will grow outward rather than in a circle. And this goes for any container grown plant. Sometimes you can massage them loose, but sometimes you have to use a soil knife or sharp spade and cut them a bit to loosen them up. But definitely DO NOT leave roots growing in a circle when you plant. Those can eventually lead to girdling of the tree’s trunk. Make sure you massage or cut them open and growing outward. It may seem cruel to the tree or plant, but it must be done!
What’s the correct way to water my container grown tree?
If you’re planting container grown trees this fall, watering these trees is a little different than balled and burlapped trees.
1.) Thoroughly soak the root ball and surrounding soil immediately after planting. Do it again tomorrow, and again in 2 days.
2) Then, water thoroughly every 4-5 days for the next 2-3 weeks.
3) Then you can change to a thorough watering once every 7-10 days, as needed, soil type and weather pending. Always check the soils moisture before you water – and that means both the root ball soil and the surrounding existing soil.
“We’re planting new trees in our yard, and we do have deer in the area. Anything we should to help protect these trees?” -YES! A newly planted tree becomes a scratching post to those bucks rubbing their antlers. Protect your new investments with tree guards, tree wrap, bark shields, plastic sleeves, as well as the additional use of deer repellents such as Liquid Fence, DeerScram, Repels All, or Milorganite (feeds and repels). Keep those protectors on the new tree trunks over the entire winter, and remove them late next spring.
How should we handle planting in really tough clay-like soil?
We all deal with those ‘nasty’ clay soils in this area, so here’s what we recommend for planting trees and other plants in tough soils. Use the same soil you take out of the hole to refill the hole for planting, BUT amend the soil with some organic matter. We feel that PINE SOIL CONDITIONER (Pinefines) is one of the best soil amendments it used for Natorp’s landscape plantings as well as the Cincinnati Botanical Garden and Zoo.
- Mix the Pinefines about 20-30% fines to 70-80% your soil.
- Chop it all together and use that for your backfill. You can even use PINE SOIL CONDITIONER as the mulch!
- Once planted, water in well, and then water in some Bonide’s Plant Starter (or work in Espoma’s BioTone into the soil when backfilling) to help get those roots off to a better start.
- Dig a wider hole than needed (but only as deep as needed)
- Amend the soil you took out of the hole and amend it, use that as your backfill, water in well, water again the next day and then begin your regular watering program as needed, and yes, do a root feeding as well.
Bonus: How do I protect my newly planted trees from deer?
A newly planted tree becomes a scratching post to those bucks rubbing their antlers. Protect your new investments with tree guards, tree wrap, bark shields, plastic sleeves, as well as the additional use of deer repellents such as Liquid Fence, DeerScram, Repels All, or Milorganite (feeds and repels). Keep those protectors on the new tree trunks over the entire winter, and remove them late next spring.
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