You might think that planting a tree in Central MO requires limited skill, however, I have learned that without taking certain precautions it is likely that your future sapling will have some difficulty in getting established. Based on my communications with several experienced landscapers it appears that the most common mistake made is planting too deep. Because soils in this region are high in clay content the roots of a deep planted tree may not develop correctly due the constraints by a predominantly heavy soil. Heavy soils can cause curling and/or stunting of the newly forming roots. A general rule of thumb is do not plant a tree deeper than it is in its pot or ball.
The other procedure which requires attention is the preparation of the planting area. You’ll want to dig a hole at least double the depth and width of the ball or pot and add in some excellent soil plus well composted manure to insure that the developing roots have ample opportunity to grow without being restricted and in an environment rich in nutrients. This holds true for all trees! I had a landscaper put in a red bud tree in my backyard and it took his staff three attempts to get it done right. On the third try the owner came on the job to instruct all staff how to properly plant such a tree in clay soil.
This past Fall 2015, I planted two apple trees and took into consideration the two planting points mentioned above. Two years later each is producing fruit.
By the way, early Fall is a great time to plant a tree 🤓.