By Paul Epsom
The Victory Garden's: What's Growing This Weekend with Paul Epsom
Today we're talking about trees. Early June is the perfect time to plant potted or ball-and-burlap trees—especially fruit trees. You don't want to plant trees any later than now as heat will stress out your tree.
First, select a site with direct sunlight and make sure there is enough room between the planting site and surrounding buildings and other obstructions. The tree will grow so you should plan for that and give it some room.
Make sure your soil is well-drained with a minimum of 18 inches of soil above any ledge or hardpan. Watch out for cable lines, or anything underneath the soil that might interfere with growth.
Start by digging a big hole—two or three times the width of the root ball. Place the tree in gently, make sure the ground level of the tree is, well, at ground level. Fill in the hole with top soil, peat moss, and add in some compost or manure for good measure.
Pack the soil down, jump around a little and stomp on it with your feet.
After the hole is filled, water the tree with two to five gallons of water. Cover around it with mulch. It's important to make a mulch ring around the tree —about the width of the canop—don't put mulch directly up to the tree or it will likely retain too much moisture around the base of the tree, and will cause problems.
A newly planted fruit tree will benefit from being staked; generally it will grow straighter and stay healthier.