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Ten Tips for Tree Planting Times
2 March 2007

Did you ever want to know the RIGHT way to plant that environmentally friendly tree in your yard? Here is your chance to learn according to Albuquerque's Environmental Health Department.

Find out the likes of your new family member. Ask your nursery about the best spots to plant your tree: shade or lots of sun, north or south side, watering wishes, etc. Pick the spot in your yard for those roots to grow happily and be free from sewer lines.

Once you have picked the best place to meet both your needs and the tree's growing desires, proceed forward:

  1. Locate root collar on tree.
  2. Dig hole 3 times wider than the rootball. If the roots are not in compacted soil, the hole can be just 2 times the root's size.
  3. Put tree in hole slightly above grade. It's better to place it too high, rather than too low.
  4. Stabilize tree with flexible, fabric tape attached to two stakes placed in opposing positions and extending into the undisturbed soil. Tree should be able to move some despite the support.
  5. Remove any rope, burlap, wire, wrapping, or tags associated with the tree's rootball.
  6. Undisturbed soil under root will help to avoid settling.
  7. Add 20-30% compost or mulch to backfill if desired. Place backfill soil combined with mulch around rootball to stabilize tree. Tamp soil gently with your shovel's handle.
  8. Place remaining backfill/mulch in hole. Water deeply to settle soil.
  9. Mulch 2-4" deep on entire disturbed area, but keep mulch away from tree trunk's base.
  10. A raised soil ring will help retain water during irrigation times.


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