Picking out a young native tree at a nursery to add to your yard is a great investment. However, many trees experience transplant shock, which slows their growth the year after transplant. However, careful handling to prevent root damage and great follow-up care promotes a speedy recovery. Trees should be planted during the dormant stage of its cycle which is sometime in the fall after the leaves have dropped, or during the end stages of winter before spring buds start to appear. It’s important to plant it before spring rains and hot weather start to hit. Additionally, planting a tree or shrub at the right depth and in a proper location is much more important to the plant than adding topsoil and soil amendments. Holes should be about three times wider than the root ball, and just as deep as the root ball. Straighten the tree to the hole, but do not stake at it at the time of planting. Providing your new tree with a healthy start will help the tree grow to its full size and provide lifelong environmental and economic benefits.