How to Plant Your Tree
Select an area with lots of sun for your new trees. If you’re planting a hedge or row, create a visual guide by placing stakes in the ground, three to six feet apart and looping string around them. Dig a hole for each tree so that it is just shallower than the root ball and at least twice the width. Break up and loosen the soil in the planting hole so the roots can easily break through. Also, if your tree arrived in a container, remove it and loosen the soil so that the roots spread out.
Placing Your Tree in the Hole The top of the root flare, where the roots end and the trunk begins, should be about an inch above the surrounding soil. Then make sure the tree is exactly vertical in the hole.
Backfilling Your Hole As you put dirt back in the hole, water your planting site to remove air pockets. Remove rocks or grass, and completely break up any dirt clumps. Water your tree again after the transplant is complete. To keep the tree’s roots warm and moist, mulch around your tree 2″-3″ up to but not touching the trunk.
Bare Root Planting Directions
Bare-root plants come directly from the field at Fast Growing Trees Nursery. They have been dug up and shipped directly to you, without any dirt covering the root system. Bare-root plants also have a gel-like chemical on their roots called Terrasorb. This chemical helps retain moisture within the roots, versus potted plants with soil which can often dry out when it is shipped long distances. Because of this, Bareroot plants have special needs when you get them. These need to be planted As Soon As Possible once you receive them. The roots need to be protected by dirt to keep from drying out. If weather or circumstances prevent you from planting immediately, you must keep the plant in a cool area (temperatures ranging from 34° to 45° are ideal) where the roots can be kept moist. Another option you have is called “heal-in”. This basically means throwing dirt over the roots to protect them and help them retain moisture. The plant can be leaned over at an angle, the most important thing is that the roots are completely covered, just don’t cover the stem.
Following the directions below will help get your plant ready for a gorgeous springtime with new foliage and, depending on your tree, beautiful blooms!
- Unpack your new trees from Fast Growing Trees Nursery and immediately soak them in water for a period of 2-3 hours. Soaking will be sure to replenish this much needed moisture. You do not need to clean off the additional “terrasorb” gel.
- Dig a hole 2 times the depth of your root system and 2 to 3 times the width of the plant. This will ensure that your tree’s root system will have enough room to grow.
- Clip off any damaged or broken roots. Never cut off all of your roots…without any roots, your plant will not grow.
- Plant your tree in the hole so that the root collar is level with the surrounding soil level.
- Fill the hole with fresh, NEW soil (garden soil from a hardware/garden center). Gently pack soil so there are no air spaces around your roots. Many people create a ring around their tree with soil to help the tree retain water.
- Water the area until flooded. If your soil sinks slightly, add more new soil, pack and water.
- Cover the area with an organic mulch .
- Discard old soil that was dug up for your hole.
- Be sure to generously water your plant once every week to ten days the first few months. Keep area weed free!
Potted Container Planting Directions
After you have purchased a plant, you need to recognize that it has been through a rough trip to get to your home garden. The trees/shrubs have been shipped in hot trucks and passed through many hands. Often times, the new plants can be in a state of shock from all the travel they have experienced…not to worry, with a little time and care, they will perk back up!
The first thing one needs to do is keep your plant watered. Water your potted plant when the soil becomes dry. Do this until you can get it into the ground. If you are experiencing extreme heat, take measures to keep your plant at least partially shaded, protecting it from the harshest conditions.
Dig a large hole. For smaller/younger plants, your hole needs to be several feet across, and also several feet deep. For larger plants, as well as small, the general rule is that the hole’s diameter (from one side of the hole to the other) should be three times the width of the root system when it is spread apart. This hole again should be several feet deep, at least 10in. deeper than the plant’s roots go.
Planting your tree/shrub:
Place some dirt back into the bottom of your hole. (This has helped loosen some soil for your plants roots to grow down into.) Place your tree upright into the hole and begin to backfill the hole with dirt, and if desired some premium soil from your local garden shop. You want to be sure that your Root Collar (the original soil line of the plant) is even with the ground. While filling, pack the ground gently and add water to fill any air holes. This will also be your plant’s first drink in its new home!
Most new trees/shrubs need general watering the first weeks/months they are in your yard. Be careful not to over water. (An over-watered tree often looks like an under-watered tree. If you see your tree wilting, and are constantly watering, back off with the water and see how your plant does on its own for a bit.) During a dry spell, be sure to deeply water your tree and the surrounding soil once a week. Take extra care when watering fruit trees.
Mulch is a garden’s best friend. It holds down grasses and weeds that will compete with your new plants roots for water, and also helps the soil retain water. It helps the soil from becoming overly compacted and acts as an insulator during the winter months. Create a mulch bed around your tree that is 2-3 inches thick, while encircling your tree with a several foot diameter. It is also recommended to leave a slight area mulch free just where your trunk reaches the ground.