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Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:14 Written by 
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It is important to carefully choose the site where you will plant your tree before digging. Pay special attention to where the tree will be planted making sure that it will have plenty of clearance from obstructions as the tree matures. Overhead power lines, underground lines, sidewalks, and buildings should be given consideration before choosing the planting site. 
Correct preparation encourages root growth reducing the difficulties already challenging the young tree. Most roots spread through the top 12" of soil in a wide periphery around the tree. Slope the side of the hole and dig or deeply rototill an area around the hole at least twice the diameter of the container. 
Plant the tree with the top of the root ball even with the surrounding terrain. When wet conditions or heavy soil are problems, raising several inches of the root ball above ground will aid the spread of lateral roots. 
Backfill with native soil or a mix of native soil and high quality top soil. Gently pack and soak with water. Add a 2-3" thick mulch layer around the tree out to the edge of the drip line, mounding the mulch at the outer edge to create a bowl effect. Be careful not to let the mulch touch the trunk of the tree. The best time to plant trees in the Arlington area is between December and March.
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