The success of planting can be increased by ensuring the plant is installed in good soil and has the proper aftercare

Soil testing

Soil testing should be done to determine the nutrient content of the soil. Having a soil test done can help to determine what amendments need to be added. If the soil is in poor condition to begin with the plant will struggle to establish and eventually die off.

Soil amendments

Soil amendments are done to ensure the plant will flourish. Many new home construction sites have very little topsoil left and is highly compacted. To resolve this organic matter should be mixed into the soil and the soil tilled or dug up to reduce the compaction. If there is too much compaction the roots will not be able to expand from the original planting hole.


Before anything is planted the root flare should be located. The hole should be dug deep enough to have the root flare level with the soil, the hole should be twice as wide as the root ball. The soil backfill should be lightly compacted to remove air pockets. When backfill is done the whole area should be watered in to help settle the soil. Mulch should be spread around the root ball two to three inches deep keeping it off the root flare and trunk.


All plants will need water after installation until establishment. Plants can die from either too much or too little water. An easy way to judge moisture is to check two to three inches under the soil if it is dry it needs more water. The best way to water is to put a hose on a slow trickle and leave it on the base of the plant until the entire root ball is wet. If the hose is turned on full the water will run off the area of the root ball and won’t be absorbed where it is needed.

How long do I need to care for plants?

The general rule for trees is for every inch of tree caliper it will take one year to establish. For example, a 3-inch caliper tree will take 3 years until it is established. Plants will need most of their care the month after they are planted. If conditions are exceptionally dry the plants should be continuously watered to keep them healthy until