Planting trees & shrubs

It’s friday of the May long weekend and we’re well into the swing of things.  It’s so exciting to see everyone, this is what we work so hard for every year.  We appreciate all of our customers and strive to provide you with the best product available. 

In this blog I’m going to chat a bit about the actual planting process of different trees and shrubs.  It is so important and with adequate follow-up care helps ensure success.  There are varying types of nursery stock available and each have specific planting instructions.  Bareroot plants should soak in water for a few hours prior to planting in order to rehydrate.  Neatly cut away any broken or damaged roots as well.  Container-grown plants are widely used with the advantage being that the roots are 100% contained.  The tree or shrub therefore goes through limited transplant shock if given adequate follow-up care.  Plastic or metal containers should be removed completely.  Remove the top half of pressed peat/paper containers and fiber pots should be left on with a large hole cut out of the bottom.  Another tip is to cut slits up the side of the container and remove the lip, allowing the roots to expand and water to drain away from the tree.  You’ll also want to carefully cut through any circling roots to encourage outward growth.    A third type of nursery stock are the traditionally larger balled-in-burlap (B&B) landscape plants.  You want to cut away the balling ropes.  Pull the burlap down at least 1/3 of the way; slit the remaining burlap to encourage root growth.  If in a wire basket, cut away the top section.

The perfect planting hole:

Start by digging a hole 2-3 times the root ball width.   It’s very important not to dig deeper than the root ball depth.  It is better to plant in a raised manner so that the roots do not suffocate or drown. We can’t reiterate enough how important this point is: Don’t plant too deep!  You’ll want to widen and score the wall of the hole and leave a solid soil pedestal.  In very poorly drained soils, pipe or drain tile could be installed.  Around the newly planted tree, use unamended backfill soil; no peat, bark, sand, etc  Finally, partially backfill the hole remembering that “what comes out, goes back in”,  use water to settle the soil and finish backfiling.

Soak the soil well, ensuring no air pockets form between the roots and then apply 2-3″ of mulch keeping it away from the base of the tree or shrub.

To finish the planting, you’ll want to do some pruning.  Prune rubbing or crossed branches, any broken branches and basal suckers.  Do not prune the terminal leader or branch tips.  You’ll want to stake the tree if the crown is large, or the plant is situated on a windy site.  Stake the tree for a maximum of one full year and note that evergreens rarely need staking.  Follow-up care essentially consists of ensuring you carry the tree/shrub through periods of draught. 

This is a lot of information to absorb and the staff here are always willing to explain the process to you and answer any questions you may have.

Enjoy the long weekend, we look forward to seeing you at Oakridge!