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Time to spruce up your landscaping. Take a trip to your local plant nursery and you’ll find many trees and shrubs to choose from. Be sure to ask the professionals there for advice on the best trees for your climate and soil conditions. Then bring your shrubs home and get them planted! Here’s how:

To plant ornamental shrubs first, soak the roots in a bucket of water for a few hours to keep them from drying while you’re digging the hole. Be sure to dig a hole large enough to not crowd the roots. If the shrub is in a container you should dig a hole 1 to 2 times larger than the container. You can keep the topsoil in a separate pile for refilling the hole later. If you’re planting more than one shrub, space the holes by following recommended spacing instructions on the plant tag.

Next roughen up the walls of the hole so roots can get through more easily. A rule of thumb, the sides of the hole should be 4 inches away from the tips of the roots when they are spread out. Slide the pot off the plant and trim off any broken roots. How far down should the shrub be planted? Usually you set it about one inch deeper than the previous planting depth. You can look at the stem for a mark from the soil the last time it was planted. Cover the roots with backfill and press around the roots with your hands to eliminate any air pockets, but don’t pack it too hard.

Water the new shrub well every 7-10 days using deep waterings instead of frequent light waterings. If you can, mulch around the plant with a 2- to 4-inch layer of straw, compost or other organic material to insulate and conserve water.

To plant potted trees outdoors begin by digging a hole about twice as wide as the root ball and the same depth as the pot. Again roughen the walls of the hole so roots can get through the soil more easily. Slide the tree from its pot while you try to keep the soil ball in one piece. Put the tree at the same level it was in its pot and make sure it is standing straight. If you can, stake the tree for the first few years to prevent it from leaning.

Next, cover the roots with the leftover topsoil and continue to fill the hole until it’s almost full. Water the tree thoroughly while the soil settles. Finish filling the hole with the soil until it is even with the rest of the ground.

Water the new shrub well every 7-10 days using deep waterings instead of frequent light waterings. If you can, mulch around the plant with a 2- to 4-inch layer of straw, compost or other organic material to insulate and conserve water.

Enjoy your new landscaped look. Your new trees and shrubs should give you years of great shade and wonderful views!