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Old 05-19-2015, 07:11 AM   #1
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Tree Planting


Last year, a hemlock tree in front of our home died. We bought another hemlock and contracted with one of the seller's laborers to do the install. That new tree died this year, so we replaced it with a weeping cherry. We contracted with the same laborer to do the planting, which he did late last night - in the dark. Look at these photos. Do you think he planted the tree deep enough? It also doesn't look especially straight up and down from the one angle. I am tempted to pull it out and replant it. Thoughts?

http://imgur.com/aTihIPX
http://imgur.com/pZUHTaM
http://imgur.com/2Fmjad7
http://imgur.com/Kv5vzM1
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:37 AM   #2
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Replant it----dig an oversized hole---mix some compost or peat moss with the soil and refill the bottom of the hole--add the tree--then pack the hole with the soil/compost mix.

Do not be tempted to use potting soil---the tree needs native soil so the roots will dig into the surrouning earth as it grows---if the fill soil is to soft, the tree may grow as if it was in a flower pot---with the roots staying in the soft fill---
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:34 AM   #3
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Unless I'm seeing the pictures incorrectly, that looks like crap.

When I transplant trees, I always dig the hole just a little bigger than the pot the tree is in. Maybe an extra couple inches all the way around. I also dig it deep enough so that, when I water it, the water stays in the hole.

I don't buy fancy dirt or fertilizer. I just fill the gaps around the root ball with loose dirt.


I'm a bit of a tree nerd (maybe obsessed), and have planted & transplanted thousands over the past 30 years. Doing it the right way is not rocket science.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:00 PM   #4
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Thank you oh'mike and DrHicks for your feedback. Tonight, I spent three hours replanting the tree.

In these two photos you can see more of the original planting: http://imgur.com/YvMVa6L,2Of0Twf,1l863fR,jUNIC11#0
http://imgur.com/YvMVa6L,2Of0Twf,1l863fR,jUNIC11#1

Both the burlap and metal binding are clearly visible. Neither were cut away from the ball in any fashion. In this photo, you can see the tree removed from the original hole.

http://imgur.com/YvMVa6L,2Of0Twf,1l863fR,jUNIC11#2

In this photo, you can see the tree after I replanted it.

http://imgur.com/YvMVa6L,2Of0Twf,1l863fR,jUNIC11#3

I am concerned I may have overcompensated and planted the tree too low. The trunk flare junction is now covered by a bit of soil and some mulch. It's not mounded up onto the trunk like I see done in some locations around town, but it is, perhaps, a bit too low now. Should I be concerned and try to raise the tree up a bit, or just leave well enough alone at this point?

Thank you for staying tuned and for considering these additional questions.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:49 PM   #5
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It looks good - nicely done!

If it were my tree, at this point what I would do is give it a good soak. Don't drown it, but get it good and wet. After that, I'd only water it every 3-5 days. You don't want to over-water it, because if the original root ball is always wet, there's no reason for the roots to press out into the soil in search of moisture.

Also, keep in mind that transplanting trees is a 3-year process. The first year it just survives. The second year it dives (roots down), and the third year it thrives.


Good luck!
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Old 05-20-2015, 02:56 AM   #6
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Also pull the mulch back from the trunk a couple inches, mulch is a breeding ground for insects( such as borers) that could attack the tree trunk. I know you see it mounded up high around the trunk in industrial settings, but this is a very bad thing.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thank you DrHicks and chrisn for this additional feedback. I am now feeling good about the near term results of this process and I look forward to seeing the tree develop over the coming years.

Best Wishes,
Phil
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