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Tree Planting Instructions

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Tree Planting and Watering Instructions

Tree Planting Diagram


Remove the plant from the container and gently place it in the hole.
For balled and bur lapped items:

Back fill the planting hole with a proper mix of soil.
Mix:  One-third of any of the following: Compost, Tree and Shrub Mix, Humus or Peat Moss, WITH, two-thirds of the existing soil that came out of the hole.


Water thoroughly to eliminate air pockets and reduce transplant shock.
(Stake if needed)
Deciduous trees that are 1” caliper or larger, and Evergreens that are 4’ tall and larger should be staked for a minimum of one (1) year, preferably two (2) years.

IMPORTANTDevelop a proper watering plan for your location.
Many factors actually determine how often you will have to water your new plant.  The soil condition at the planting location, the weather, possible irrigation run-off and other factors can all play a role in how often you will have to water.  The recommended amount of water required for plants that have just been transplanted is fairly standard; however, the frequency can be very different from location to location.  Conduct a soil moisture test as described below to determine how often you should water at your location.

Recommended amount of water per watering:
Trees:  Apply approximately 10 gallons of water per inch of caliper, per watering.  (example: a 2” tree should receive approximately 20 gallons of water per watering.)
Shrubs:  Apply approximately 2-3 gallons of water per watering.


Soil Moisture Test

(Three or four days after the planting and initial watering begin the test)


Watering newly transplanted trees and shrubs

At the time of planting:
Water each plant thoroughly to reduce transplant shock and eliminate air pockets around the root ball.

After initial watering, during the spring and summer months (April – Sept)
Many different watering methods are used for providing water to plants, they include:  Hand watering, drip irrigation, lawn irrigation, soaker hoses, deep root watering devices, tree gators and others.  Regardless of your watering method, it is best to conduct a soil moisture test prior to watering and develop a proper watering plan for your location.  Follow the soil moisture test noted above and make adjustments based on your location and watering method.

During the fall and winter months (Oct – Mar)
Apply the same amount of water per watering as in the spring and summer; however, you can reduce the frequency to approximately once or twice per month.  A good rule of thumb is to water often enough to maintain soil moisture in the root zone.  This is critical to your plants survival through cold and dry winter months.  Snow alone will not provide enough moisture for new plants.  Remember, 12” of snow is only about 1” of water.

Helpful Watering Tips


Basic care for newly transplanted trees and shrubs

After Planting:
Most plants go through some level of “transplant shock” during the planting process.  Many of the plants that experience transplant shock will recover and be fine in just a few weeks.  After planting, focus on watering properly and monitor your new plant for signs of stress.  If you see wilted leaves or evergreens discoloring, try to assess what is causing the stress.  If you can’t readily identify the cause of the stress, be patient, it is most likely suffering from transplant shock and should recover shortly.  If you do have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.

Add mulch around the base of trees to help retain moisture in the root zone during the fall and winter months.  Wrap all young trees that have smooth bark with tree wrap from the base of the trunk up to the first set of branches.  This will prevent sun scald which can impair the trees ability to transfer water and nutrients from the root system to the leaves.  A good rule of thumb to follow is:  Halloween On, and Easter Off.

Late winter/early spring:
This is the best time to prune most plants.  While the plants are still dormant, they can be pruned without causing any unnecessary stress.  The best time to fertilize an established plant is when the leaves just begin to emerge from the buds.  This is the plants natural time to put on new growth and will benefit greatly from the nitrogen in the fertilizer.  Only fertilize once in the spring, the new growth will stop towards the end of June or beginning of July and then the new growth will have time to harden off before winter.

Spring and summer months:
Monitor watering closely; making adjustments based on current weather conditions.  Only prune broken or dead branches during the growing season.

General Care Tips