If gophers are a problem, make a basket of 1" mesh poultry netting in which to plant your tree.
- The simplest method is to cut a piece of netting large enough to encircle the roots.
- Construct a cylinder, then make the bottom by turning the end sections over like an envelope.
- Trim any broken roots off the tree.
- Plant the tree inside the basket at the depth at which it was originally grown.
- Look for the soil line below the graft (bud union) where the bark changes color and texture.
- In most cases, the graft should be two to six inches above the soil level.
- Construct a basin around the plant that extends out to the drip line of the branches or further.
- Water thoroughly.
- As the soil settles, backfill to the proper depth.
- Cover the soil around the plant with two to three inches of mulch, being sure to keep it away from the trunk.
- Protect young plants from deer and rabbit damage with wire cages if necessary.
(We know this is not a gopher, but gophers are not cute and he is!)