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Hi Peter, We have a series of four arborvitae that are planted on our fence line and facing north. They were planted 2 years ago. We have clay soil. Two of the arbs are doing very well. The other two have died and need to be replaced. The only difference that we can tell between the dead ones and the thriving ones is the amount of moisture in the soil. And when I say moisture I mean REALLY wet. We know that there is a drainage problem along that section of the planting bed however I would like to replace them and hopefully rectify the soil issue at the same time. How would you recommend that we amend the soil for these two replacement shrubs to give them the best chance? Thank you, Natalie.

The best way to overcome this problem is to “mound plant”.  Dig a shallow hole about 1/4 the depth of the ball of the tree you’re going to plant and add you Bio-Tone starter food to the bottom of that hole.  Then and place the tree into that shallow hole.  The n cover the rest of the exposed ball with soil making a mound (it will be fairly wide) to cover the rest of the root ball up to the crown of the plant.  This will elevate most of the root ball above the wet soil so it won’t drown.  When it does dry out during the heat of summer, you may need to water these plants a little extra for the first few years until they are established.

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