Tree Planting Depth

The depth in which a tree is planted is very important to the tree’s future health. If a tree gets planted too deeply, such as in image A, it can die. A tree should be planted so that the root flare is just above the ground’s surface. The root flare is where the roots move away from the trunk, flaring outwards. Do not mistake the graft for the root flare; sometimes the grafts can be exaggerated and look like root flare ( B ). A correctly planted tree looks like images C and D. Sometimes before planting a tree, soil must be removed to expose the root flare; the newly exposed trunk can be at a higher risk of damage from cold or sun. You can prevent damage by putting down mulch, but not too much. You want to avoid volcano mulching, shown in image E, which can also harm the plant. Mulch should be laid approximately two inches deep.

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