Plant a containerized tree by digging a hole three to four times the diameter of the tree, removing the tree from the container and placing it in the hole. Add soil under the tree to lift it so the top of the soil from the container is even with the surface of the surrounding ground. Backfill the hole with soil, leaving a water-holding basin, and water and mulch the tree. Keep the soil and mulch moist without saturating it.
When removing the tree from the container, check for roots that are growing around the edges in a circle. Trees that have been in containers too long to develop become root-bound. Ensure proper growth of such trees by using a sharp knife to cut an “X” in the bottom of the soil and making four cuts through the roots along the sides of the root ball.
Do not add fertilizer to the hole when planting a container-grown tree. Remove any tags or labels from the nursery, as they affect the tree growth. Water the tree about every five to seven days, keeping the soil and mulch moist. Apply the water at the edge of the drip line and avoid creating a puddle of standing water around the base of the tree.