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Ready to apply mulch

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root ball placed in soil

Backfill soil has been added to the planting hole so it is even with the landscape soil. The top of the root ball is a couple inches above the soil surface. This helps insure that even if the point where the top-most root emerges from the trunk is an inch or two below the surface, it is set no deeper than the landscape soil. If irrigation will be applied using low volume devices such as drip or spray emitters, or if it will be irrigated only with the overhead landscape irrigation system, then the tree is ready for mulching. If the tree will be watered with a hose or other high volume device, then construct a 3- to 4-inch-high berm at the edge of the root ball using mulch (most preferred) or soil (less preferred).