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Puddling protects roots from exposure to air before planting
and also from any air pockets which may exist after planting. Having filled hole to depth required by roots of plant, flood it with water to settle soil at bottom; when this has drained away, place tree in position in which it is to grow and settle soil about it.
Use a stick or shovel handle to work soil around roots, and make cer tain there are no air pockets. Spread roots out naturally, planting tree at about same depth as in nursery or its former location. When hole is two-thirds full, trample it down and again fill with water. Don't firm down remaining soil, so that water will drain towards trunk.
A balled-and-burlapped tree is one dug with a solid ball of rich, heavy loam in which it has been growing in nursery for years, its root system thus amply covered and protected. The ball is firmed and held in place by a secure covering of twine and burlap.
To plant it, set tree in a hole a trifle lower than it stood in nursery. Work soil beneath this depth, as directed above. Dig hole about twice size of your ball and plant at once. If ground is dry at planting time, fill hole with water and let it soak away before planting.
Cut burlap at top when you put ball in place, rolling it back 3 or 4 inches. Plant ball, burlap and all—the burlap will soon rot away. If you are planting a big tree, it is transported in a truck, lowered to ground by winches, rolled along a plank track on rollers and maneuvered into exact center of hole on a single board.
A holding rope from truck to base of tree trunk helps to position tree. After tree is planted, cutting back is proper. Cut back sharply at least one-third, pruning branches. It is necessary to brace tree with wire ropes so that roots will not be broken by wind.
Use a single wire around trunk and three guy wires. For first year after planting, more cultivation better Keep weeds away, too, with straw or mulch, and strawy manure mulch in spring and fall will help keep moisture in ground.
Paul Curran is CEO of Cuzcom Internet Publishing Group and webmaster at Trees-and-Bushes.com, providing access to their nursery supplier for a range of quality plants, trees, bushes, shrubs, seeds and garden products.Visit their trees section to find a great selection of trees for your garden