B&b Plants (plants that have the root ball wrapped in burlap)

  • · Dig the plant hole approximately 2 times the width of the ball and 2 or 3 inches less that the depth of the ball. This means that on a tree with a small root ball  (12 – 14 inches or less) it will be an inch or two above the surrounding soil.  With a larger root ball (18 inches plus), the top of the ball will be 2 or 3 inches above the surrounding soil.  Place the plant in the hole and after determining that it is straight and you are satisfied that what you consider to be the best side facing where you want.  Stabilize the plant by putting several inches of soil in the bottom of the hole.  It is critical that the tree not be moved or turned once you begin the next step.
  • · Cut all twine and cut off excessive burlap on top of the ball as it will have a tendency to repel water. Burlap may be left around the sides of the root ball, but do not put any excess burlap in the hole.
  • · The upper portion of wire baskets should be removed to avoid possible interference with root development and not interfere with, lawnmowers and rakes. The basket must not be cut until the plant is in the hole and stabilized.
  • · When planting trees, it is imperative to locate the natural root flare. The root flare occurs where the stem and the root system meet.  If the flare is not visible just above the ground, the tree is probably planted to deep.  Planting the tree too deep will stress the tree and may lead to tree decline.
  • · Before back-filling the hole, if your soil is poor, create a mixture of 2/3 original soil and 1/3 planting mix such as bagged topsoil and peat moss or a product high in organic material. Make sure your plant is straight before filling in, then gently back-fill, using water to settle soil around the root ball.  Fill to ground level.  Water thoroughly providing a small quantity of water over a long period of time, instead of a large amount of water all at once.
  • · Do not mulch next to the trunk, leave a few inches from truck. Recommended amount of mulch is no more than 2” thick.
  • · Plant material should be thoroughly watered after planting. Liquid fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer may be applied at time of planting.  Proper water and fertilizing practices are critical for plant establishment and health.  Please read “Instructions for the Care of Plants” other suggestions.

 Container Plants

  • ·Dig the plant hole approximately 2 times the width of the container and the same depth as the plastic container.
  • · Remove the plastic container before placing the root ball in the hole.
  • · With a sharp knife (a box cutter works well) make vertical slices from the top of the root ball to the bottom approximately ¼ to ½ inch deep. Make these cuts 3 to 4 inches apart around the entire root ball.  This is to cut any roots that might have grown along the inside of the plastic container that could result in these roots “choking” the root ball as they grow and expand in size.
  • · Place the plant in the hole and back fill with the existing soil if it is good soil. If not good soil (excessive gravel, stone, clay, etc.) create a mixture of 2/3 originalsoil and 1/3 planting mix (bagged topsoil or a product high in organic material), before filling in, gently back fill pressing the soil in the hole then use water to settle the soil around the roots.  Add the proper fertilizer for the plant.  Then water thoroughly – a small amount of water over a long period of time, instead of a large amount all at once.

Instructions for the Care of Plants

  • Caring properly for your plants will help insure their success.  Remember: plants are living things.  They need careful attention to survive and thrive.
  •  Watering:  Watering is essential.  The amount of water you need to give a plant is dependent upon the type of plant and Mother Nature.  During periods of normal rainfall, watering will be minimal.  During drought periods, you will need to water frequently.  The necessary period for watering is from early spring until the ground freezes in late fall.
  •  Pest Control:  Each plant has natural predators and diseases.  It is essential that you identify the pest and or disease.  Make sure you are using the correct product.  Please follow instructions on the product.
  •  Fertilization:  Plants require nutrients to live.  Whenever a plant is planted the proper fertilizer should be applied.  All plants have different requirements, please follow the instructions on the product or visit our website for more information.  Check our website for more information.
  •  Pruning:  Many plants require pruning for various reasons.  As a general guideline, be conservative; you can always take more off, but you can’t put it back on.
  •  Watering, pest control, fertilization and pruning needs vary greatly among plants.  They do not all have the same requirements.  Therefore, it is suggested you should research on the computer what the requirements are for the specific plant that you purchased.  If this is not possible, ask our staff for recommendations.
  •  Wrapping:  Male deer will rub their antlers on the trunk of a small tree in the fall and rabbits may eat the bark at the base of a small tree in the winter.  Trunk guards or liquid repellents may be used to prevent animal damage to tree bark.  Trunk guards should be removed prior to the growing season, as such products could be harmful to growing trees.
  •  Staking:  Some trees may require staking to keep them growing straight or to prevent them from blowing over.  Please consult one of our staff for instructions or recommendations.