Tips for keeping your tree healthy and happy:


Click one of the following links to take you to that section, or scroll down to start reading at the beginning.


Planting and care instructions:


What to do when your tree arrives:

  1. Make sure that the tree is set in the hole at proper grade (either at grade with the sod or at the proposed grade of the sod).

  2. Back-fill the tree half way up the hole with dirt.

  3. Cut and remove all white strapping as well as the top third of the wire basket. Bolt cutters work well for this task.

  4. Carefully peel back the burlap from the top of the root ball and cut away. The remaining burlap will eventually decompose.

  5. Finish back-filling the tree with a good soil mix (compost and topsoil mixture). Ensure that the soil has been thoroughly packed in firmly around the tree so that there are no air pockets.

  6. It is advisable to create a tree well around your tree if the tree has been placed in a un-irrigated area. This is done by building the dirt up (2- 4 inches) around the outer edge of the hole. Its purpose is to catch and trap water so that the tree and soil remains moist.

  7. It is now time to water your tree (see water instructions below).

  8. Top dressing the tree with bark mulch is highly recommended as mulch will retain moisture and prevents some weed growth. NOTE: Do not place mulch directly against the trunk of the tree and remember that no more than 2 inches of mulch is needed.

Fertilizing your tree:


  • Fertilizer is HIGHLY recommended in the spring (not past the end of June).

  • We advise using a 10-52-10 root starter (high phosphorous promotes root development).

  • NOTE: All fertilizers are different. Be sure to read the instructions on the fertilizer you purchased for quantity and application advice.

Watering your tree:


  • Most of the problems incurred with new trees are due to watering mishaps (either not enough, or too much). Whenever in doubt, dig a 1 foot deep hole beside the root ball of the tree, and test if the soil is moist. The soil should never be hard, dry, soppy or muddy. It should always be moist.

  • If you have a tree well in place, fill the well with water and let it drain slowly into the root ball. If you do not have a tree well, we recommend placing a garden hose a few feet away from the trunk of the tree and let a slow stream soak the root ball for 15-20 minutes. This should be done 2-3 times a week.


Pruning your tree:


  • Prune only the damaged or broken branches at the time of planting.

  • NOTE: Any shaping or tip pruning should be done when the plant is dormant (before the tree gets leaves in early spring, or after it drops them in the late fall).


Planting plastic potted trees or shrubs:


Planting fiber potted trees or shrubs:



Important info - Winter watering, Chinooks, and early leaf drop:


  • In the fall, it will be normal for newly installed deciduous trees to turn their fall color and drop their leaves a little prematurely.

  • As winter approaches, and the ground begins to freeze, soak your tree's root ball, so it will stay frozen during the winter.

  • NOTE: DO NOT water your trees during a Chinook, as water is warmer than the frozen ground, and could defrost the root ball prematurely.


Care Instructions For Newly Installed Trees


In order to keep your new trees alive and healthy, there is some maintenance involved. For the first 2 years, your tree will require water and nutrients, that you must supply. Every tree is different, and have their own specific needs that should be researched before purchasing. Below are basic tips to encourage health and growth of your new tree:

During the warm months, you should be watering 2 or 3 times a week. If you have a water well around your tree, fill it with water, and allow to drain into the roots. If no water well is present, place your garden house a few feet from the trunk, and turn the water to a trickle for 15-25 minutes.

Most issues incurred with new trees are water related; either too much, or not enough. When in doubt, wait a few days after watering, and dig down about a foot deep, beside the rootball. The soil should feel moist to the touch - it should not feel hard and dry, nor sloppy and muddy. Hard, dry soil indicates you need to increase the water the plant is receiving. Sloppy, muddy soil indicates you need to decrease the water the plant is receiving.

If you have a newly installed irrigation system, or new sod that is seeing frequent water, keep an eye on your trees, as this is a circumstance that can cause your trees to drown.

Fertilizing is highly recommended in the spring. Do not fertilize trees in the fall, as this may promote more growth, and the tree may not shut down for winter. We advise you to use a 10-52-10 root starter for any newly in-stalled plant material. Please note that all fertilizers are different. Be sure to read and follow instructions regarding application.

In the fall, newly installed deciduous plant material will turn to their fall colors early, and newly installed coniferous plant material will experience some fall needle shed.

When the first few winter frosts occur, it is wise to stop watering. This is when the trees stop growing, and starts shutting down for winter.

When the ground starts to freeze, typically in late October or early Novem-ber, you should water your tree one last time. Leave your garden hose a foot or so away from the trunk, on a slow trickle for around half an hour. This will ensure the roots of the tree receive water for the winter.