To save you time and effort, we have created this document which provides information, instruction, helpful hints and tips on how to plant your tree or shrub. If you have any questions or concerns while planting, please give us a call. We'd be happy to help!
1. Bringing Your Tree Home
Plant your new tree as soon as possible. When in storage, keep it in the shade, protect it from wind and do not allow the roots to dry out.
2. Pick A Location
Learn about your tree. Determine the conditions it requires and choose an appropriate location for it. Consider the amount of light it will need, its drainage requirements, growth habit and the room it will need for future growth.
3. Dig A Hole
Dig a hole for the tree that is at least twice as wide as the rootball and as deep as the 'flare'. This is the distance between the bottom of the roots and where they meet the trunk. If the hole has smooth edges, use your shovel to roughen them up. These 'glazed' edges may form a barrier that prevents water and roots from penetrating. Pack down the soil at the bottom to ensure that the tree will not settle any deeper over time.
4. Check Drainage
The roots of many trees are susceptible to rot if they are planted in areas with poor drainage. Check the drainage by filling the hole with water. Good drainage will allow the water to seep away within minutes. In areas of poor drainage, you may need to backfill the hole and plant the tree in a mound instead. This will keep the roots away from standing water.
5. Amend The Soil
Mix peat, compost or mushroom manure into the soil you dig out. The best material to use depends on the condition of the soil and the needs of the plant. For example, Rhodos and Pieris like acidic soils, so peat would be beneficial, while perennials love compost and mushroom manure.
6. Add Organic Fertilizer
Add organic fertilizers like Bone Meal, or Blood Bone Meal into the hole. These products will enhance the trees growth and are mild enough to not damage the tree's roots.
BONE / BLOOD BONE
1/4 Cup / Small Handful
1/2 Cup / Med-Large Handful
1 Cup / 2 Handfuls
2 Cups / 3-4 Handfuls
For larger plants, mix half into the bottom of the hole and the other part half way up.
7. Prepare The Tree
Prepare the tree for planting. Most nursery trees come in one of five types. Check the other side of this pamphlet for more details.
8. Position The Tree
Carefully place the tree into the hole. Do not drop it or damage may result to the roots. The tree's soil level should be level with the top of the hole or even slightly higher. It is better to plant higher than to plant it too low. Burying a tree deeper prevents its roots from obtaining oxygen and is one of the fastest ways of ensuring its demise.
9. Fill In The Hole
Refill the hole with soil. Periodically pack down the earth to remove any air pockets. Make a temporary dike about 3-4" high around the planting area to hold water. Make sure you breach this dike before winter or water freeze around the base of the tree.
Newly planted trees should be thoroughly watered. During the growing season, water at least once per week, and more often in the absence of rain. Periodic heavy watering is preferable to frequent light watering because it encourages the growth of deep roots and increases the trees tolerance to drought.
Deep watering requires the use of a hose. While sprinklers do provide water and reduce stress, they do not moisten the soil well enough. Evergreens should be watered thoroughly before frost to prevent them from drying out and discoloring.
Avoid over watering as it may cause oxygen deprivation or root rot. If you are unsure of whether or not to water, dig a small hole about 6-8 inches down at the edge of the planting hole. Grasp the soil, if it is crumbly or powdery, then the tree needs more water.
Add mulch to the area. Mulch absorbs and retains moisture, prevents the growth of weeds, and keeps the trees roots cool in summer and insulated in winter. Spread mulch over the area to a depth of 1-3 inches. However, avoid piling mulch around the base of the tree. This promotes rot and invites boring insects. Keep mulch a few inches away from the base of the trunk.
After planting, use a liquid 'transplant' fertilizer like Art's 10-52-10 to help your tree adjust itself to its new environment. These fertilizers are easy for the plant to absorb and promote the development of roots. It also helps the plant compensate for root loss and transplant shock.
While many trees will not need to be staked, those planted in areas where wind, vandalism or lawn mower damage may result might need it. If required for support, use 1-3 stakes and a wide flexible tie material. Make your tie at about 1/3 the height of the tree. This will hold the tree upright, provide flexibility, and minimize injury to the trunk. Remove stakes and ties after the first year of growth or once the tree is firmly established.
Congratulations! You have successfully planted your new tree! Now sit back, relax and enjoy!