Should I Plant Viburnum Where An Old Tree Was?

Q: I have a fairly large hole where an old tree trunk has rotted away. Can I plant a viburnum in this existing hole or should I dig a new hole? 

A: One factor in the successful planting of trees and shrubs is to minimize the difference between the material the plant is growing in and the soil into which it is planted. If your viburnum is in a pot, the growing media is very different from your landscape soil. You can plant where the old tree was growing but you need to loosen the soil four feet in all directions around the planting spot first. Wash as much soil as you can off of the plant root ball and straighten out the circling roots that you discover so they grow away from the center. New roots will grow in any direction where they find loose “breathable” soil.

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