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Planting Guide

Large boxed trees are shipped dry, a thorough  watering is crucial the day you receive it.  

Dig hole twice as wide and 3/4th deep as the soil in the container ensuring the horizontal width is wider than the vertical depth to encourage root growth and drainage.  Make sure the top of the root ball is slightly above ground level.   Hole depth should allow the soil surface of the tree to sit at least 3” above your final grade. 

Fill the planting hole completely with water and let it drain.   If water infiltrates out at less than 1” per hour install 3” perforated pipe with a fabric sock around the bottom of the root ball, connect to a gravity drain and 2 vertical poles .

If drainage is more than 1’ per hour refill the hole and retest, if you obtain the same drainage results an additional drainage system is not necessary.   Monitor the condition after planting to ensure the tree is not over watered and the root ball is not constantly wet.  Most trees should be kept moist but not saturated.

Do not break root ball when planting, we suggest using stream of water to loosen the roots for release.  Another common method of scoring the sides with a properly sharpened knife typically make foliage of tree or shrub wilt.

Mix 30% compost with 70% of your existing soil  and backfill with mixture. The higher concentrate of compost may burn the new roots.  The higher concentrate of backfill with pure potting soil, the roots will have a difficult time adapting to poor soil once roots grow beyond original hole.

Most trees should be double staked as opposite the other with round stakes secured with rubber straps and place tree ties just under where branching begins.

Avoid dirt or mulch around the tree or shrub trunk as the tree will die if you bury the crown.   For heavier/slow  draining soils elevate the tree to increase drainage away from roots.  Planting ground cover, lawn or flowers which require normal watering in the drip line area risks keeping the soil too wet for the tree.   It is best to mulch under the tree or plant drought tolerant plants once the tree is established.

There is no need for fertilizer for the first 3-6 months which is dependent upon the amount of fertilizer in the soil attached to roots and weather conditions of your area.  After six months use an extended release fertilizer and when pruning do not remove more than 10% of the foliage the first year.

Start the normal watering cycle 3-6 days after the initial heavy watering. Improper watering is responsible for 80%+ of post planting problems. 

After the first day’s initial heavy watering the goal is to apply water after the soil, at a depth of 6”-18”. Large trees should have a dedicated irrigation system or hand watered for the first year. Your goal is apply water periodically in sufficient amounts to keep the root zone in a range between saturation, (the day of watering) and only slightly moist.

Applying water too frequently keeps the soil too near saturation which will rot the roots  applying too much water per application keep the bottom of the root ball saturated, even though the top dries a little more about you.​

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