Planting Information

Planting Guide

Before You Plant

Always plant in a well drained soil. To test for soil drainage, dig a hole for your new plant and fill it with water. If the water doesn’t drain in 12 hours, the soil in that area will need to be amended dramatically to help with drainage.

The Plant

Your tree or shrub will come in one of two forms: balled & burlapped (B&B) or containerized. If the soil is moist and kept sufficiently watered, planting can be done anytime the soil is not frozen. If possible, plant your tree or shrub as soon as you get it home. Otherwise, it may dry out and become injured. If you can’t plant it immediately, place it in a shady and/or sheltered outdoor location. Keep the soil moist until planted.

The Planting Hole

To plant a tree, dig a hole 1 1/2 times the width of the root ball, same depth. The top of the root ball should be level with the surface of the ground. Most soils in our area are clay based and will benefit if amended with organic material. Products such as Master Nursery’s® Bumper Crop Organic Soil Builder contain beneficial nutrients for your planting area. Clay/heavy soils benefit by amending with Jonathan Green’s ‘Love Your Soil.’

Now that the area is prepared, place the plant into the hole. For Balled & Burlapped Plants: Do not remove any rope or string until the tree is at the proper depth and it is positioned in the desired direction. Partially backfill the hole, then remove twine from the top half of plant. Fold down the top half of the basket and the top half of burlap. Do not attempt to remove the burlap from under the plant –this could damage the root ball. Continue filling the hole until the soil level is even with the existing ground. Use excess soil to build a ring 6 to 10 inches from the outside of the hole. Water can collect in the saucer and move slowly down in the root zone of the plant, as well as minimize run off. For containerized plants, remove them from their pot, loosen the rootball and follow the same depth and backfill instructions. Using a transplanting solution such as Espoma® Bio-Tone Starter Plus or Miracle-Gro Quick Start will help the newly planted tree or shrub to grow new roots.

Water Your New Plant

Most plant deaths are a result of improper watering. The roots of newly planted plants dry out faster than the soil around them. A newly planted tree or shrub will probably need to be watered every two days, depending on weather conditions. DO NOT solely rely on rain as a means of watering new plants. During extensive periods of rain, you may need to water less, but during dry periods, or in areas exposed to sun for most of the day, monitor plants closely to determine their need for water. When watering, use a slow, deep-watering method to ensure the entire root system is reached. You should monitor a plant’s water needs for the first two growing seasons. Remember that plants are not forgiving, and that it only takes one time for a plant to dry out to die. Thus, be vigilant and make appropriate plans if you will not be able to water your plant for a length of time.

General Watering Guidelines for Clay Soil

1 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 10-15 minutes 2 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 20-30 minutes 3 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 30-40 minutes 4 gal. – 7 gal. – trickle water for approx. 50-60 minutes B&B – trickle water for 50-60 minutes Remember, if it rains for 1 hr, it probably was not enough water for a newly planted shrub or tree.

Mulching Your New Plant

Mulch serves a few purposes. It prevents moisture loss, incorporates organic matter into your soil when using natural mulch, and adds a pleasing look to planting beds. Apply mulch at a depth of no more than three inches, and avoid mulching close to the base of the plant, as this can promote disease or pest injury.


We recommend Espoma® Bio-Tone Starter Plus, Holly-Tone or Tree-Tone applications are recommended in the spring and fall of each year. For selecting the correct fertilizer please ask one of our professionals for help.

Winter Protection

Apply “Wilt-Pruf” (an anti-transpirant) to all broadleaf evergreens. Apply in November, and reapply again in February, adhering to label directions. This will protect your investment from drying winter winds.

Animal, Insect and Disease Control

We carry many different remedies to prevent damage caused by pests and unwanted animals. We recommend Liquid Fence, Deer Stopper or Animal Stopper to keep small critters and deer from damaging your plants. For insect and disease control we recommend Bayer 12 Month Tree and Shrub Systemic Control or Bayer All-In-One Rose and Flower Care for long lasting systemic control. Simply follow application directions according to the label.

Planting Perennials & Annuals

Most perennials and annuals like a well-drained soil rich with organic matter. Native soils in urban landscapes for most perennials and annuals should be amended with Master Nursery’s® Organic Bumper Crop. Once the soil has been prepared, place your plants around the planting area while still in their pots. Make sure you have taken into consideration the mature size of the plant, as well as proper sun or shade requirements. Determine an approximate location for the planting then dig the hole in the amended soil, wide enough and deep enough to accommodate the plant. Water the plants thoroughly, and remove them from their pots by inverting them and supporting the root ball. After loosening the root ball, place your pant into the hole, then backfill to ground level. Water the plant thoroughly to ensure the soil fills in completely around the roots, eliminating large air pockets. We recommend Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus or Miracle-Gro Quick Start when planting. This will help initiate new root growth. Monitor your perennials and annuals daily, and water as needed. Water slowly to attain deep-water penetration, which encourages widespread root development and further prevents drying-out. Feed annuals weekly with MaxSea All Purpose Fertilizer. Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the plant to help retain moisture. Avoid mulching too close to the base of the plant as this can promote disease or pest injury. When planting annuals in a pot, ensure your pot has drainage holes, and for best results, plant with Bumper Crop Gardener’s Gold Potting Soil.

Plant Guarantee

Trees and shrubs purchased are guaranteed under a one year warranty starting from the date of purchase, provided the plant has been properly planted and cared for per our planting guide. If at any point you are concerned that your plant is showing signs of poor health, please contact us as there is often a simple solution that can prevent the loss of your plant. If a plant that has been properly cared for dies within the one year warranty, we will happily provide store credit or a replacement plant of equal value. To receive a replacement or credit, please bring in the plant (or a picture and sample of the plant) and your sales receipt. We cannot process any replacements/credits without your receipt. This warranty does not cover plants lost due to neglect, extreme weather conditions, pet or animal damage, or any other circumstance beyond our control.

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