Looking to move 11 of these large trees (with 2-3 foot ball) onto our property (partly clay Midwest US soil) and cannot afford to have them die after transplanting.
After having many transplanting questions answered through online research, I still cannot find info on the best way to avoid tree/root shock for trees this size.
Local tree nurseries/farms I visit say either say leave roots alone (because they are already stressed) or add some Peat Moss (Sphagnum) and chemical fertilizer to help it grow.
Problem: 2 of the 4 sources said fertilizing the roots upon planting can harm the process. So I cannot afford to just add fertilizer "for good measure" if I can end up accidentally killing them.
Regardless of method, I will be adding black top soil topped with organic mulch (standard). So, is there any sure fire method for making these trees "catch" in their new environment or can attest to either root care method for Balsam and Black Hills Spruce trees?
EDIT trees coming 10 miles from also clay environment. Moving will be performed by the small tree farm in burlap sack after they use a spade shovel to remove it from site. Destination property is mostly flat grade.