Germination, Planting, & Care Instructions


Right now, your tree is between one and three years old (depending on the size you ordered). Though your young tree has already survived the most fragile stages of its life, you should continue protecting it (especially in winter) for the next few years. We recommend starting your tree in a large container, which will give you flexibility should you need to move your tree into a protected area during periods of harsh weather. First, remove your tree from its packaging, and check the water content of the root plug. If the root plug seems dry, water it generously. If you have a "seedling" size tree with a very dry root plug, it's advisable to soak the root plug (roots only!) in a glass of water for 1 – 4 hours prior to planting. Next, fill a 2 – 10 gallon container with a high quality, well-draining potting soil. Dig out a hole for your seedling large and deep enough to contain your tree's roots with a few inches to spare on all sides. While you do not need to "spread" your tree's roots, it is very important that the root plug is straight (no j-rooting). Place the seedling's straightened roots into the hole you've prepared, and fill in soil around the tree. Give your tree a big drink of water, and place it in a location with good sunlight.

How's the Weather?

If the weather in your region is severely hot or cold, you'll need to pay special attention to your seedling — especially when it's small. Do not let your seedling burn in extreme heat, nor freeze in harsh, cold weather. Generally speaking, keep your tree indoors during times of freezing and sub-freezing temperatures. In the spring, after your last freeze, place the tree outdoors once again in a sunny location.

Keep It Happy!

Keeping your tree in good health is easy. Water your seedling regularly, but always allow the soil to dry-out somewhat between watering. Be careful not to over-water your tree — the soil should be just barely moist before additional watering. Feeding your tree with a high-nitrogen fertilizer is recommended. Time-release fertilizers, such as Osmocote, work well and are particularly easy to use.

A Permanent Location

When your tree is a few feet tall, your may want to transplant it to a permanent location in the landscape. Early spring and early fall are especially good times for transplanting.

Choose a location well away from buildings, power lines, and other trees (at least 10"), and clear all vegetation from the planting site. Dig a hole big enough to take the roots of your tree with small margin extra. The bottom of the hole should be dug out to allow 6" of good, loose soil or leaf-mould beneath the tree. A mixture of the surrounding soil, compost, and sand should be put around the spread roots and gently firmed.

Don't Worry Be Happy

If your soil tends to be basic (alkaline), an occasional application of rhododendron-azalea plant food may help nourish the tree and condition the soil. Water your tree occasionally in the summer months, especially in particularly hot weather.

Our Trees are 100% guaranteed! If your tree does not survive, it'll be replaced with a free seedling of any species we stock (you pay only shipping and handling).

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