Experts: January and February are best months to plant trees locally

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 05:48 PM.

“Planting depth and water management are keys to getting a tree to do well,” Dunning said, adding that a shallow hole is better than a deep hole.

Plant trees so the rootball’s top bit sticks out, she said.

“Fertilizer isn’t as important,” Williams said. “This tree (the elm) probably won’t be fertilized until next year.”

After three to five years, fertilizer is no longer needed because if the tree’s roots have been allowed to develop, they will extend far beyond the trunk area most people typically fertilize, he said.

Dunning recommended removing any covering wrapped around the rootball.

“It takes a lot of energy to push through that burlap,” she said.

Liberate roots that have wrapped around the ball, she said, to avoid training them in a “circling habit” that keeps the roots close to the trunk rather than spreading out to give the tree stability.

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