Planting trees and shrubs correctly enables them to take root and build a stable foundation. First, dig a rough hole twice as wide and twice as deep as needed. Combine 25% (peat moss, compost or planting mix) with 75% of the soil you dug out for your tree and then mix the two together. Now take the two soils that you mixed together and put them back in the bottom half of the hole because you dug the hole out twice as deep. Fill the hole 3/4 full of water first, then place the tree in the hole. Fill the hole up with the soil/compost mixture and then add more water to prevent air pockets.
The graft, which is located between the root and stem, should be above ground about an inch above the soil line. Don’t fertilize until the tree begins to leaf in the spring. Be careful not to add too much fertilizer, which will burn the tree. Slow-release fertilizer is best in the first year.
After planting, do not overwater! Before watering, test the soil with your finger to see if it is dry. Too much water can prevent root growth and drown the tree just as too little water will dehydrate it. During the first year, you will need to water your tree more often than a well-established tree.
The first two weeks after planting will be the most crucial to survival, so keep your trees properly irrigated. As a general rule, fruit trees should be planted 15-20 feet apart, blackberry & raspberry plants 2-3 feet apart, and blueberry plants 5-6 feet apart. We suggest reaching out to your local agricultural extension agents to get expert advice for your plant and soil questions. They can advise and give you the best recommendations for your area.
NOTE: You may plant your tree during cold weather, but daytime temps should be above freezing.