Tips for Planting an Older, Large-caliper Tree
“Caliper trees” are older and larger (typically they have a stem diameter of 2-inches or more when measured 6-inches above the soil level) than saplings, and require extra care when planting. Caliper trees are more prone to transplant shock; here are some guidelines that may help reduce their stress!
1. When digging the hole, make it just 6-inches wider, and no deeper than the root ball. Gently place the tree in the hole, and make sure the top of the root ball is level with the ground. Try to keep all the soil that came with the tree intact, and do not disturb the root system by loosening, pruning, or trimming. By keeping the root ball intact, you will help reduce transplant shock.
2. Carefully pack soil around the rootball, making sure the tree will stand upright. Do not bury any of the tree trunk: burying the trunk by even a small amount will kill the tree prematurely.
3. Once planted, create a ring of soil around the circumference of the entire root ball. This will create a saucer that captures water so that the tree can be watered more efficiently.