Did I just kill my Paperbark Maple?
Well, I finally found a good spot for my new Paperbark maple. It's a beauty. About 10' tall. Paid way too much for it at a local nursery but I've been eying this kind of tree for years.
Anyhow I had the rootball in the hole and was getting ready to backfill and decided I needed to move it about a foot to the left. I decided that the best way to do this was to grab the wire cage. But as I pulled and pulled the wire cage came out from under the root ball and the root ball pretty much disintegrated. I was horrified as I've read just about everywhere that if the rootball breaks the tree is doomed. I did my best to re-set the tree into the soil of the rootball. I watered the roots (now just 3 or 4 very thick roots) with Superthrive and added a starter fertilizer I've had good luck with. Because the tree no longer has the very heavy/strong rootball holding it in place I went ahead and staked the tree.
The local nursery seems to think the tree still has a good shot since it's still dormant. Does anyone else share their optimism or do you think I've ruined this beautiful tree? I feel terrible....