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Panting diagram of a tree  

cutaway diagram treeplanting

Copywright 2008, Idiomorf infographics  

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How to plant your tree
Begin by digging a hole wide enough to hold the roots without bending them, and just deep enough so that you can plant the tree at the same depth it grew in the field. Place the soil you remove from a hole on a board, on cardboard, or on strong cloth, so that you can easily put it back. Scrape the sides of the hole and roughen them to enable roots to grow through the easily. Break the soil into pea-sized pieces.

Bare-root trees benefit by being staked until they've grown enough new roots to anchor firmly. Use a stake at least 5' tall. nail one end of a strip of cloth or rubber near the top of your stake.

Place the stake a few inches south of the center of the hole you dug, and drive a third of it — between one and two feet — into the ground. (In California you can tell which way is south and facing your shadow at noon. South is directly behind you.) Until the tree grows more leaves and branches, the stake will also provide the trunk some protection from sun during the hottest part of the day.

Take some of the soil you dug from the hole and make a mound in the center of the bottom. Use your hands to tamp this mound until it is firm.

Turn your tree so that the graft union (the knot near the base, just below where the two trees were joined into one) is facing north (away from the stake). Holding its trunk against the stake, lower it until its roots rest on the mound of soil in the bottom of the hole. Check to be sure that the line on the trunk showing how deeply the tree was planted in the field is about an inch or two above the level of soil at the sides of the hole. Your tree will settle a little after you 've planted it.

Have somebody else hold the tree while you adjust the mound by adding or removing soil until the level is right. Begin placing additional soil in the hole until the roots are covered. Add water to settle the soil around the roots. Repeat the process, filling and watering, until the level of soil in the hole is equal to that of the surrounding ground, and the roots are covered. Planting too deeply can injure or kill your tree, so plant a little high rather than a little low.

Using any leftover soil, or soil brought from nearby, build a circular ridge (berm)Berm

A circular ridge surrounding a freshly-planted tree. Build a berm to retain water near the tree so that the tree gains its full benefit. two feet away from the tree. This will hold water over the roots while it soaks into the soil. To ensure that your tree has enough water, very slowly pour about five gallons into the circle within the berm, and allow it to soak in. Make sure your berm holds water.

Cover the area inside the berm with a 3-6" layer of dry leaves, wood chips or shredded bark mulchMulch

Organic matter placed around plant to prevent water from evaporating and to insulate the roots from cold weather. to keep the soil from becoming too hot during the day and to prevent water from evaporating so rapidly that the soil cracks and breaks fragile roots as it dries.

With the strip that you nailed near the top of the stake, make a loose figure-eight loop around the tree and the stake. then tie the strip to the stake. be sure that the tree can move a few inches back and forth in the wind. To prevent sun damage to the trunk of your tree, paint it up to the lowest branch with white latex paint, diluted with one part water to four parts paint. Congratulations! You've finished! Perhaps you'll want to give thanks for the privilege of living in a place where you're able to grow your own fruit tree

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