The Q&A Archives: blue spruce planting

Question: My husband planted our new blue spruce tree,and now I notice it has sunk lower than the ground around, and is tipped to one side. It has been in the ground about a month, and I'm afraid to dig it up again as it probably has made new roots. Should I dig it out and start over? Should it be planted on a mound of soil? my yard is shale and and basalt rock very hard to dig and needs bagged soil mixed with it to be able to grow anything.Should I put some sort of fertilizer in also? Hope you can help! Thanks, Brenda

Answer: You'd be doing your new tree a favor if you dig it up, put more soil into the hole, then replant. Otherwise, it could decline over the years. Soil settling happens most often when you use lots of organic matter in the planting hole; as it decomposes, the soil level sinks. I'd dig the plant up (choose a cool, cloudy day) and mix some native soil with the amended soil you have in the hole. At the bottom of the hole mound up a little soil and then drape the roots of the tree over the mound of soil so they fall naturally. Backfill with the soil you took out of the hole, tamping it down to help it settle. After replanting, water well to further settle the soil. Don't fertilize at this time; wait until next spring to feed your tree.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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