Answer: Sounds like a valuable plant! Where you plant your Japanese maple depends on the type it is - some grow best in afternoon shade and others can take afternoon sunshine. So think about where the parent tree was growing and try to find a similar site. Once you've decided on a spot, dig a hole as deep as the container but slightly wider. I place a mound of soil in the bottom of the planting hole and drape the roots over it so they fall in a natural fashion. This mound helps support the tree and keep it from settling down too far in the ground. Try to keep the tree at the same soil level as it was growing in the container. Backfill with the soil you took out of the hole. It's not a good idea to amend the planting hole or the soil you'll use for backfilling because this tends to keep the roots growing in the amended soil rather than venturing out into the native soil. Roots can girdle and kill the tree if they don't move out into the native soil. After planting, water well to help settle the soil and drive out any air pockets. Then just keep the tree watered (one inch per week) and it should establish and thrive. Best wishes with your tree!
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