Remove & discard all packing materials, wires, twine, baskets & containers. If root ball is still dependent on basket, leave only the lower 1/3rd when planted.
Nursery stock should be placed on native ground to prevent settling. Do not dig the planting hole too deep or not deep enough. Too wide is no problem.
Watch for underground wires or utilities. Contact Dig Safely NY (811) before digging.
Know the identity of the plants you are installing.
Planting hole should be at least 2 times the width of the ball or the container. Inspect root ball surface in relation to root flare of trees, excavate if necessary to be able to see the root flare.
Location, Location, Location. Make sure the plant can handle full sun, partial sun or shade. This is very important for a plant to maintain it's health and especially for flowering plants.
It is important to select healthy and well formed plants. Careful inspection at the nursery or Garden Center is best. Look for density and structure. Avoid plants that have injured or broken stems or stunted leaves. Look for good color and evidence of good vigor and growth.
Loosen root system or disrupt the circling pattern of roots with container grown plants. We call this "tickle the shrub."
Use only soil that has been loosened for backfill & tamp in layers to help minimize the need for staking or anchoring.
Root flare should be at or above ground level. (plant high - never die, plant low - never grow).
Water all plantings, creating a saucer at perimeter of root ball if necessary to hold water. The first year is the most important time after planting. Never water in mid afternoon when hot. Best time to water is early morning or dinner time.
Stake as necessary.
Install 2-4" layer of mulch leaving 1-2" of free space around plant base.
Inspect final plantings to ensure all are straight. Remove any remaining tags, trim & remove any damaged or broken branches.