Now that you have selected the proper location and the proper plant material for your landscape, it is time to plant it properly. The hole should be dug 3 times the size of the root ball but not quite as deep as the root ball is tall. The reason for this is that having an oversize hole will make it easier for the new tender roots to establish themselves in the softer dirt outside the root ball. You don't want to dig the hole too deep, this will cause settling of the tree and cause it to be too deep on the ground therby causing crown and root rot in the future.
After the hole is dug, place the tree into the hole and remove the wire basket and as much of the burlap as possible. This will give the roots any easier time to establish themselves. The hole can then be filled in with the soil that was removed. You don't want to replace the soil in the hole- this can lead to future failure of the plant. A slow relase fertilizer that is low in salt content and a mychorrizal innoculant (preferably with a hydrogel) should be incorporated into the back fill when the hole is halfway filled. The mychorizae will seek out the feeder roots and help them to become established. The hydrogel will absorb water and hold it for the roots to use in the event of a prolonged period of drought.
The last step is the most important. Water. Your new plants will require a lot of water for the first several months, if there is not adequate rainfall.
Remember that transplant shock can manifest itself up to 5 years after a tree or other plant is put in. You can expect some die back of the plant in that time. If you watch the plants, then you can stop the progression of the decline before it reaches the point of no return.
Recently I received an E-mail regarding the use of Hot Pepper Wax for control of eastern tent caterpillars. I bring this up because this pest is not listed on the label as a target pest. I cannot condone this paticular use of this product. I have always told everyone in my classes that the most important peice of knowledge that you need is knowledge of the label and the materials limitations. Simply put, if it is not listed on the label, you cannot use it as a control method. The label is the law. This simple phrase has been ingrained into every student that has attended the PCA training sessions. You see, the commercial applicators are under alot more scrutiny than the homeowners on Long Island. We need to be trained and tested in order to do our jobs and we must attend training classes to recieve credits in order to maintain our licenses, where the do-it-yourslf homeowner only needs to go to Home Depot or your local garden center and buy almost the exact same materials that we use and use it without having to notify your neighbors or file a report of your chemical usage with the state DEC. I feel that if there is any abuse of the materials that are showing up in the ground water, that the first place the groups like the Neighborhood Network or One in Nine should look is at the homeowner that dosn't understand and hasn't been trained in proper pesticide handling and application techniques, and not at an industry that is already so overburdened with rules and restricitions that we, at times, cannot do our jobs properly because of the possible consequenses.