How to care for your new tree or shrub
General care for any tree or shrub is easy, please educate yourself and follow these simple rules:
1: Check Soil. Check Light. Dig.
If possible, before your tree arrives prepare a hole that is 2-3ft in diameter and around 18 inches deep for shrub or tree in an appropriate location for the soil/light needs of your tree. Soil that does not drain after a rain is harmful to most plants. If you have an area that holds water, be sure to check our water tolerant plants. We also recommend a soil test for nutrients and composition if possible.
2: Remove from Box.
Upon arrival remove the plant from the box and plant it immediately in your prepared outdoor location. Please do everything you can to get your tree in the ground. However, if you cannot plant your tree immediately, a temporary solution is to plant your tree in a pot.
3: Locate the Root Crown.
When you plant, be sure to plant the tree with the root crown at soil level. Planting too shallow or too deep will slowly kill the tree. You can use a yardstick to ensure your root crown is level with the soil you have about 1 inch of wiggle room. Build a packed mount of dirt to help prop up the roots and hold the tree at the level of the root crown.
4: Use the Same Dirt.
Break up any chunks or clumps as much as you can before returning your dirt to the hole. The more crumpled the better. Use the same dirt you took out. Supplement with no more than 30% compost. Using potting soil or “good dirt” can keep your roots from leaving the original hole. If your dirt is horrible and compacted – prepare your soil in advance.
5: Mulch. Mulch. Mulch.
Mulch your tree with 3-4 inches of organic mulch. You don't want to rot the trunk, so pull the mulch back from the trunk of the tree (so the root crown is exposed). Mulching will have a substantial effect on planting success because mulch retains moisture, adds organic material, and insulates the roots. Mulching is required to qualify for a refund. Mulch every year. It will keep back weeds and grass, decompose and improve your soil.
Water your tree thoroughly after planting. You should always water slowly and deeply – this will encourage better deeper root growth. Use a soaker hose, tree bag, or a 5-gallon bucket with small holes in the bottom to water if possible.
7: Water More.
Continue to water your tree on the following schedule. Unless you get a soaking rain, water every other day the first 10 days. Water every 3 days the next 15 days. After that, supplement the rain so that your tree gets at least 1 inch of water a week for the first full growing season. Additional watering maybe required for hot/dry weather and trees in full sun.
8: Do I Fertilize?We highly recommend a soil test. A good place to start with this is your county or state extension. The only way you can select and apply the right fertilizer is from the results of a soil test. After your soil test, the lab will provide you with a list of fertilizer needs. We recommend slow release fertilizer and you should always follow the instructions on the bag.