To successfully plant shrubs and trees during the hot summer months, the correct method needs to be applied. You only need a shovel, bone meal, mulch and water.

First of all select a good site to plant your shrub or tree. Dig a hole with sloped sides about 3x the diameter of the plant pot. This encourages root growth up and outwards towards higher oxygen levels. In clay soils, roughen up the sides of the hole. Roots cannot penetrate a ‘glazed’ side caused by a shovel. Roughen up the sides will allow roots to push through once they make it there.

Fill the hole with water and let it drain before planting. Before anything else, check the plant pot to see if any roots are visibly sticking out from the bottom drain holes. Take the plant out of its container and inspect the root ball. If roots have formed into a dense, tangled mass you need to make vertical cuts down the sides of the root ball.

Put the plant into the hole after the initial water application has drained.

Backfill halfway with native soil mixed with a handful of bone meal and up to 25% soil amendment (compost, manure, etc.) and water.

Repeat backfill and watering for a second half gradually tapering the soil from from the top of the root ball to ground level.

Mulching cannot be overstated. Mulch keeps roots cooler during summer and insulates them during winter. It reduces the loss of moisture during the heat of the day and it will eventually break down providing the plant with beneficial nutrients. DO NOT, however, mulch around the trunk of plants. This can cause rotting and diseases. It is best to mulch the entire planting area starting 3-4 inches away from the trunk.  The use of Transplanter 5-15-5 after planting helps minimize post-planting stress.

When planting balled and burlapped plants, be sure to remove all twine / wire and peel back the first 1/3 of burlap from the top. The rest can be left on as it will decompose.Lastly, deep waterings are far more beneficial and efficient as opposed to a quick spray on the surface.