Q: I have planted trees in the past and they have died, what may I be doing wrong, is there a recommended way to plant a tree?
A: Many people have different opinions or how to plant a tree properly; this is the method that I use. What ever the size of tree, make sure it is undamaged and healthy before purchasing, take tree out of its growing container and see where the top of the root ball is. The top most roots should not be any deeper than the top of the surrounding soil that the tree is being planted in. Dig the hole several inches wider than the root ball. If you dig the hole deeper put some soil back in to level it and firm it so the tree will not settle after planting and water is added. You can mix some compost with the soil taken out of the hole before putting it back around the tree, firm the soil but do not pound it back around the tree. Use any extra soil to make a doughnut like ring around the tree to help hold water when you water it. The most common killer of new trees is the lack of water not over water, over watering can happen but more new trees die from the lack of water. In summer trees may need water 3 times a week or more and it needs to soak deeply into the root area.