At this time of year, it's normal to receive dormant trees when one obtains them by mail order. Then, too, it's wise to get them into the ground as soon as possible. Even though the soil is quite cold at this time (December), the roots will begin to to grow when soil temps reach about 40F. So, having the trees in the ground when that occurs, helps to give their roots a good start.
The critical information for planting your tree includes the following:
- Plant in a well-drained site where the tree will receive full sun
- After the hole is dug, fill it with water, then let it drain out. The goal is to have the water drain within 2 hours. If the water remains longer, consider planting in a different spot.
- Refill the planting hole with the native soil; don't add fertilizer, compost, potting soil, or anything else to the soil or hole.
- Water the refilled soil to settle it; don't stomp or pack it down.
- After the hole is refilled, you can add compost to the surface of the planting hole, but not against the trunk.