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How to Plant Fir Trees

When planting any type of fir tree, location is important to ensure a healthy tree. Keep in mind that fir trees can grow to exceptional heights and widths depending on the cultivar; do not plant a fir tree too close to a structure. Many fir trees have a shallow network of roots and need to be planted in an area that is protected from high winds. Fir trees grow in most types of soil, except hard-packed clay soil; loosen clay soil by amending it with compost prior to planting--no more than 50 percent compost and 50 percent amendments.

Dig a planting hole that is three times the width of the rootball and as deep as the rootball. If the tree is bare root, spread the roots out, so you can see their length. Make the planting hole for a bare-root tree as wide as the spread-out roots and as deep as the discoloration mark on the stem (this mark shows how deep the tree was previously planted).

Remove all staples and ties from the burlap if the tree is balled and burlaped. If the burlap is synthetic, remove the burlap from the root ball. If the burlap is organic, leave the burlap on the root ball, as it will disintegrate over time and will provide additional nutrients for the fir tree. Remove the pot, if applicable.

Scarify the edges of the planting hole with a pitchfork. Fill the planting hole with water. Center the fir tree in the planting hole and backfill it with soil. If the tree is a bare-root tree, spread out the roots in the bottom of the planting hole. Gently tamp the soil down as you backfill it to provide enough support for the tree; do not pack it too hard, as fir trees prefer loose soil.

Stake and tie the trees if you live in a windy area and the tree is in an unprotected space. Use ties that grow with the tree, as ties need to be in place for about a year.

Create a watering ring around the perimeter of the planting hole. The watering ring helps divert water to the outside roots, while preserving water.

Mulch the fir tree with at least 3 inches of compost or pulverized bark. The mulch helps keep moisture in the ground around the roots of the tree, and encourages faster growth.

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