TREE PLANTING GUIDE
Because our trees will come shipped to you bare root, they should be planted in their final place as soon as possible. If you can’t plant them immediately, make sure that the root systems are kept moist and cold. It is possible to dig a trench and "heel in" the trees for a couple weeks until you are able to plant them.
Do your best to get the trees into the ground before they break dormancy. This is to ensure that the root system has taken hold in its new home, and will be able to absorb nutrients to flow to the leaves when they begin to open.
TO PLANT: dig a hole that is at least as wide as the root system, and as deep. Ensure that the soil is well loosened and relatively dry. Some recommend putting a couple shovels of compost into the bottom of the hole, but we prefer to top dress with compost. Putting compost in a planting hole encourages the tree to keep its root system huddled in the nice soil, rather than pushing into your native soil and getting well established.
Hold the stem of your new tree right at the root flare (the point where the stem starts to widen before the roots). Holding the stem in one hand, place the tree in the hole, and begin to push the soil back while keeping the tree as straight and level as possible. With the hole filled in, the root flare should be level with your topsoil, or else it will rot! Step around the new tree lightly, holding it straight. It is good to have a little extra topsoil around in case you don’t have enough soil to fill your hole completely. Ideally, the entire planting area will be level with the topsoil around it.
MULCH! Top dress around the tree with compost (an inch or less is fine) and then a 4-6” thick layer of natural mulch. Our favorite mulch is plain wood chips, which encourages beneficial fungi. If you don’t have access to wood chips, use whatever you have on hand, like grass clippings, straw, leaves, or bark (as long as it’s free of any type of boring beetle, etc.). Make sure to leave at least a 6 inch circumference around the stem of your tree before you lay down your mulch (think "donut shape"). Having mulch right up against the bark of a tree can cause rot, insect issues, and other problems.
mulch volcano = BAD!
mulch donut = GOOD!
If you’re doing a large scale planting, mulching your whole row and spawning with a beneficial mycelium like wine cap (Stropharia Rugosoannulata) is a great way to ensure long term soil health. The fungi will break down your mulch into usable nutrients for the tree, and make tasty mushrooms for you in the process!