Guidelines on getting the job done right:
By Dr. Douglas F. Welsh, Extension Horticulturist
Dig a hole large enough so that the root system has at least six inches of clearance on all sides. The root ball should be on a solid soil foundatin, so don't dig the hole any deeper than the root ball.
Plant the tree or shrub slightly above the surrounding soil, to allow for settling and increased soil
Carefully place the tree in the hole.Handle the plant with care as a broken ball of earth can mean a dead plant. Always remove any container before you plant.
Backfill the hole, using only the native soil removed from the hole (do not use soil amendments when planting large shrubs and trees. Firm the soil around the plant. Water thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots and to eliminate any aair pockets.
Do not fertilize after planting. Wait until early in the spring to do this, and even then, go lightly. Heavy applications of fertilizer may burn and injure the root system.
For most trees, staking is not recommended; however, if the tree trunk is not sturdy, use two stakes, one on either side of the tree, and give the trunk support for the first year only.
Right after planting, water the tree in by filling the bermed basin with water. For the first week water the tree 3 times, soaking it thououghly each time. Afterwards, during the growing season of the first year (March thru November) water the tree twice per week, soaking it thoroughly each time. The goal is to wean the tree slowly off of supplemental irrigation, and get the root system large enough for the tree to survive on natural rainfall.