Tips - How to Plant Trees & Shrubs
Simple Tips for Planting Shrubs from our friends at Bracy's (one of our favorite wholesale growers of quality trees, shrubs, fruit trees, and more!)
In landscaping, planting is one of the major keys to success. We may concentrate on finding the right variety of a shrub but what are the proper planting procedures to give those new plants the best chance for establishment and long term success. Here are a few guidelines for consideration:
Properly spacing shrubs is important and varies with the plant selected. If the shrub will grow 3-4 feet wide, it is recommended to space them 3-4 feet apart. If you desire space between your newly planted shrubs after a couple years, widen this spacing by 1-2 feet. Tighter spacing is typically recommended for formal plantings while wider spacing is recommended to give the planting a natural look.
Be sure to soil test. The physical and chemical properties of planting medium is critical. For success, plant shrubs in a well-prepared landscape bed soil. Drainage and aeration are critical to success. If a new bed is developed, remove any unwanted vegetation. Next, till the desired planting area. This could be as simple as a 2 to 3 feet wide strip or a wide, lengthy bed for 3-4 rows of shrubs with a few small specimen trees or colorful flowers. After tilling, spread a 2- to 4-layer of organic matter (pine bark, landscape bed soil, compost, processed or aged manure, peat moss) over the area and till in thoroughly. Mix the underlying soil with the new landscape soil to allow better transition of excess water through the bed. Be sure to know the recommended soil pH for the shrubs being planted.
The planting hole should be dug the same depth as the container or slightly shallower. The top of the root ball should be level with or slightly above the soil level of the bed. Avoid planting too deep. The width of the planting hole should be 2-3 times the diameter of the root ball. Lightly loosen any matted roots on the outside of the root ball. Place the shrub in the planting hole and fill the hole halfway with the landscape bed soil. Lightly irrigate the soil and root ball. This eliminates any dry air pockets in the planting hole. Finally, finish backfilling the hole. After planting, irrigate again then mulch the plants.
Pine bark, pine straw, cedar or any number of other materials are good mulches. Mulch should be 2-3 inches deep around shrubs.
Planting Follow Up.
Irrigate new shrub plantings several times weekly in the absence of rainfall. Landscape plants generally need about an inch of rainfall or irrigation weekly. A slow watering over several hours is best instead of a fast delivery of irrigation water. Determine fertilizer application based on the time of the year and the amount of any fertilizer in the container at planting time.
Come see us at Akins for more tips and on site advice for how to be successful!