Planting Tips

  • It is important to select healthy and well formed plants. Careful inspection at the nursery or Garden Center is best. Look for good structure. Avoid plants that have injured or broken stems or stunted leaves. Look for good color and evidence of good vigor.
  • Planting hole should be at least 2 times the width of the ball or the container. Inspect root ball surface in relation to root flare of trees, excavate if necessary to be able to see the root flare.
  • Know the identity of the plants you are installing.
  • Watch for underground wires or utilities. Contact Dig Safely NY before digging.
  • Nursery stock should be placed on native ground to prevent settling. Do not dig the planting hole too deep. Too wide is no problem.
  • Remove & discard all packing materials, wires, twine, baskets & containers. If root ball is still dependent on basket, leave only the lower 1/3rd when planted.
  • Loosen root system or disrupt the circling pattern of roots with container grown plants.
  • Use only soil that has been loosened for backfill & tamp in layers to help minimize the need for staking or anchoring.
  • Root flare should be at or above ground level. (plant high – never die, plant low – never grow).
  • Water all plantings, creating a saucer at perimeter of root ball if necessary to hold water.
  • Guy & stake when necessary.
  • Install 2-4” layer of mulch leaving 1-2” of free space around plant base.
  • Inspect final plantings to ensure all are straight. Remove any remaining tags, trim & remove any damaged or broken branches.

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