Answer: The best way to plant your tree is to dig a hole just as deep and a little wider than the nursery pot, roughing up the soil along the sides and bottom of the hole. Plant the tree by sliding it out of the nursery pot and setting it in the hole. Make sure that it will be growing at the same soil level as it was in the container. Once you're satisfied with its placement, fill in around the root mass with the soil you removed from the hole. Tamp the soil down securely, then water thoroughly to help settle the soil. I'd take the time to make a watering well or watering basin around the newly planted tree. You can fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill it a second time each time you water. This will concentrate the moisture over the rootmass and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root system. Most newly planted trees and shrubs need about one-inch of water per week. If rainfall is sparse, water deeply every week. Don't fertilize now - wait until spring when new growth begins. Best wishes with your new river birch!
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