Planting & Establishing Shrubs: Dig the planting hole to be at least twice the width of the root ball. Do not plant too deep. This is essential. Planting too deep is the most common reason for young plant failure. The root flare zone, which is the top most root in the root ball, should be located just above the soil surface. If there is any soil above the root flare scrap it off. It is recommended that you apply a thick layer (about 3 inches) of mulch around the shrub to help control weed growth. Keep the mulch at least 10 inches away from the trunk. If the mulch covers the trunk the shrub can die. Use a regular watering schedule throughout the first growing season to help establish a root system.