Answer: The best times to plant are early spring and early fall. If you have a container grown plant, you can plant nearly any time the ground is not frozen or muddy, but it is best to avoid planting in midsummer if possible as that is the most stressful time to plant.
Watering should supplement rain as needed to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge, not sopping wet and not dried out. To know if you need to water, dig into the soil with your finger. If it is still damp, do not water yet. When you do water, apply it slowly and thoroughly so it soaks down to the deepest roots. After watering, wait a few hours and then dig down to see how far the water went; sometimes it can be surprising. Water as needed the entire first year the tree is in the ground.
Also, use an organic mulch over the root area. It should be two to three inches deep and spread out in a flat layer, do not allow it to touch the trunk. This will help keep the soil more evenly moist, help hold down weeds, and also feeds the soil on an ongoing basis as it breaks down slowly over time.
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