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Home / Learning Center / Topics / Garden & Landscape / Planting Trees Shrubs

Tips on Planting Trees and Shrubs

Late fall or early winter is a great time to plant trees and shrubs, many of which will be on sale at area nurseries and garden centers. As long as the ground is not frozen, you can plant container-grown trees and shrubs, nursery stock that is balled-and-burlapped, or transplant woody plants from one spot in your landscape to another.

Planting container or balled-and-burlapped stock

When planting container or balled-and-burlapped stock, dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball. The hole should not be any deeper than the height of the root ball. If you err, do so on the high side. Planting trees or shrubs too deep causes them to rot and eventually fall over.

Backfill the hole with the soil that came from the site. Amending the soil with peat moss, compost or other matter is not recommended. Use your foot to tamp down the soil around the new plant. Water well.

Continue to supplement rainfall, as needed, to ensure the new plant gets about an inch of water every week until the ground freezes.

Transplanting shrubs and trees

When transplanting a shrub or tree in your landscape, it's best for the plant to be dormant. Usually once a plant has dropped its leaves, it is dormant.

Prepare the new planting site before digging the plant. Again, the hole should be about twice the width of the root ball and about the same depth as the plant was growing in its old site.

Use a sharp spade or shovel when digging the plant, trying to lift as much of the root ball as possible. Move to the new site as soon as possible so the roots won't dry out. If you are delayed in the planting process, cover the root ball with moistened newspapers or cloth. Again, no need to amend the soil. Finish the planting as described above.

Don't forget the fertilizer!

To help your newly planted tree and shrub adjust to it's new home, use Greenview's Woodace Transplant Tablets that provide safe, slow, 12-month feeding for transplanted trees and shrubs and other ornamentals.  Woodace features professional IBDU slow release nitrogen and is also suited for container plants and aquatic plants.

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