HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There used to be a saying "Don't plant a $10.00 tree in a $2.00 hole." However, with the price of shrubs and trees now, I have to edit those words to say don't plant a $50.00 tree in a $2.00 hole. Keep in mind that the hole that you dig will be the permanent home for that plant and that plant will directly respond to the quality of that home location.
The following are several ideas to keep in mind when digging a home for that tree or shrub you just brought to your landscape. First of all, select an area that is well drained. Unless you are planting rice, plants don't survive in a predominantly wet areas. Dig the hole into a saucer shape rather than a straight sided hole. The reasoning here is to give the roots plenty of room to grow near the soil surface.
Rough up the sides of the hole to help with water and root penetration. Another very important hint to remember is to dig the hole at least twice as wide as the container or ball and about half again as deep. When filling up the planting hole, make sure to put back in the hole about 3/4 of the soil that came out of the hole. The remaining 1/4 can be soil amenities like compost or other organic matter.
One final and very important "must do" practice is not to plant the tree or shrub any deeper than it came in the container. If any of the original bark that was exposed on the plant gets buried,the bark will rot and the plant will die.