Frequently Asked Question

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Planting New Trees

Unloading your new tree:

  • DO NOT let the tree drop or fall from your truck or trailer. Handle with Care!
  • Try not to handle the tree by its trunk.
  • DO NOT remove the burlap or wire basket from your tree.  Remove the rope after your tree has been staked and watered.

Soil Amendments:

  • If your soil is HARD and full of clumps - You should replace it with a good topsoil. A hard clumpy soil will not settle around the root structure properly, making it difficult for your tree to take root.
  • For CLAY soil, mix topsoil with Redbud Compost, such as Back To Nature or Humore. Both products are available at Marcum's Nursery.
  • For SANDY soil, mix topsoil with peat moss and Redbud Compost.

Planting your new tree:

  • Dig a hole up to 3" - 6" wider than the root ball and deep enough so the top of the root ball will be 1" above ground level when finished. It is very important that you do not plant your tree where the top of the root ball is below ground level. This could result in growth problems and possibly cause your tree to die.
  • Begin to backfill around the root ball with your soil mixture. When the hole is about 1/2 full, begin to water and use a shovel to work the soil / water mixture downward to remove any air pockets that may be present. Continue adding soil until you have filled the hole to ground level.
  • Untie the rope from around the tree trunk, remove the burlap from the top of the root ball only. Leave wire basket on to help hold roots together. Remove any remainder wire that is visible and above ground.

After the tree is in the ground:

  • Water your tree thoroughly and again use your shovel to settle the soil around the root ball. If the soil settles, continue adding more topsoil until it remains at ground level.
  • Use any excess soil to build a soil ring around the outside of the root ball. Fill the water ring with a mixture containing Marcum's Root Stimulator and let this soak in well.
  • Cover the top of the soil with a 1" - 2" layer of prepared mulch. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the trunk of the tree. This will help to retain moisture and reduce weeds inside the ring.
  • Tip: Do not let grass grow inside the water ring as grass will use a lot of the moisture that you want your tree to get. 
  • Stake your new tree for at least one year to help keep it in place. Use nylon tree straps as opposed to garden hose. Move the straps on the trunk of the tree every three months to keep from girdling the tree.