Planting pointers

Tips for planting trees and shrubs

PERENNIALS FROM 4-INCH POTS

1. For each plant, dig a hole the same depth as the container and 1 or 2 inches wider.

2. Lightly separate roots. If there's a pad of coiled roots at the rootball's bottom, cut or pull it off.

3. Place each plant in hole so that top of rootball is even with soil surface. Firm soil around roots; water gently and thoroughly.

4. Spread 3- to 4-inch layer of coarse compost or other fine-textured mulch over root zone; don't pile it against crown of plant.

TREES AND SHRUBS FROM CONTAINERS

1. Dig a hole at least twice as wide as the rootball; leave a plateau of soil as shown. Make sure the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil.

2. Backfill with the unamended soil you dug from the hole, adding the soil in stages and firming it around the roots with your hands as you work.

3. Make a berm of soil to form a watering basin around the plant's canopy. Irrigate slowly and deeply to soak the entire rootball.

4. Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of shredded bark or similar mulch over the root zone. Don't pile mulch against the trunk.