Planting & Transplanting
Planting or transplanting is both an art and science. Whether they are moving a plant on site from one location to another or bringing one in from a nursery its needs are generally the same. When planting a tree or shrub always dig the hole shallow but wide. Make sure the trunk flare is exposed and not covered w/ soil. Plant the tree at the proper height. And finally fill the hole with the soil that was removed from it and tamp the soil down so there is no air pockets.
Trees generally are purchased in one of two ways. Either they come in plastic containers or as a B&B (balled & burlaped). Hilltown Tree & Garden only purchases trees that were locally field grown, dug and encased in degradable burlap and a wire basket (B&B). This kind of tree is normally superior to the other production methods often done by some nurseries. But what is key is that all the burlap and the wire cage has to be removed at time of planting. This is a vital step that is normally skipped by most installers.
The tool in the photo is called the TBF Root Cutter. Although it is know as the "banana" to the guys at Hilltown Tree & Garden. They find it a fantastic tool for transplanting trees and shrubs with a minimum of transplant shock. The key to this tool is that it maximizes the roots it takes and minimizes the soil. For more information click here.
Here is Jim doing a mid-spring transplanting of some large PJM Rhododendrons. He was able to take a 40" rootball that contained virtually all of the shrubs roots.
The rhododendron 6 weeks later. Transplant shock has been minimized and the shrub has grown great one year after its transplanting.