Tree and Shrub Planting Tips

Tree & Shrub Planting Tips

1) Dig a hole about twice as wide as the root ball. Especially for wire cage/burlap trees, the hole should be at least 1 foot (30cm) wider than the diameter of the root ball.

2) Remove the plant from the container carefully and inspect the root ball. Using a knife, score vertically down the root ball 4 or 5 times about 1” deep. Loosen circled, matted roots so they will grow into the surrounding soil. If you are planting a tree in a wire basket, do not remove the basket from the tree.

3) Place the plant in the hole with the top of the root ball at the same level as (NOT DEEPER THAN) the surrounding ground. If you are fertilizing with bone meal, add some bone meal to the hole. Then backfill with topsoil (loam) or a mixture of topsoil and peat moss and completely fill the hole.

4) Water the root ball and surrounding soil thoroughly to settle soil and remove air pockets. When you are watering add water-soluble fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.

5) Water regularly throughout the growing season. Until trees and shrubs have rooted into the surrounding soil, they need regular watering. Water two to three times weekly for the first growing season. In the event of a heat wave or drought, it is best to water newly planted trees and shrubs every day in the morning. During prolonged heat waves, water in the morning and evening.



If you are unsure of how much water you should use, you may estimate the volume of water needed based on the size of the tree or shrub’s container.

#2 container (8″ wide) needs ≈ 6 L water

#5 container (10″ wide) needs ≈ 14 L water

#10 container (15″ wide) needs ≈ 39 L water

**1 inch of rain is the same as watering for the day

 If you are unable to water your trees and shrubs regularly, Rechargeable Solid Water Bags or other water retaining aids like mulch provide and hold moisture around your plant’s root zone. These additions around trees and shrubs are very helpful if they are planted far away at a cottage or require extra water to thrive.

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