DIY Planting Instructions for Trees & Shrubs




 Following these steps will get your plant off to a great start and will improve your plant’s ability to grow and thrive in its new home: your landscape.

AS&L's Nursery manager Bill's evergreen garden in August.

  1. Position plant in the proper site.

    • Sun or shade.

    • Correct distance from foundation.

    • Allow enough space for mature growth.


  2. Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and the same depth as the root ball.

    • Bottom of the root ball should sit directly on top of undisturbed soil.

    • Top of root ball should be even with existing grade.


  3. Remove plant from container.

    • Cut a few shallow vertical slashes in root ball to break up circular root growth.


  4. Place plant in hole and sprinkle 1 packet of Plant Health Care “Tree Saver” around the root ball.

    • “Tree Saver” contains mycorrhizal fungi, that improves plant health and vigor.


  5. Backfill around root ball with a mixture of soil removed from the hole, compost or manure and peat moss.

    • We offer several premier products.


  6. Tamp soil lightly around root ball to remove any air pockets.  Leave a raised ring of soil around the edge of the hole to hold water.


  7. Water thoroughly to penetrate to the depth of the root ball.  Repeat 2 or 3 times a week for the first 3 weeks and at least once a week after that until the ground freezes.


  8. Apply a 2” layer of well-composted mulch over the planting area to retain moisture and suppress weeds.  Do not pile mulch against the stem or trunk as this can damage the bark.


  9. Large trees planted in windy sites should be staked for the first year.  Leaving staked longer could result in injury to the tree.

    • We carry Dewitt’s Tree Stake Kit which allows for some tree movement for strong roots and protects against bark abrasion.


  10. Maintenance: In addition to the previously mentioned 1st year water schedule, getting on a good fertilizer program will have a positive and visible impact on the continued health and growth of the plant through the years.  We at Allen, Sterling & Lothrop are firm believers in the benefits of organic fertilizers.  These products not only feed the plant, they also enrich and improve the soil quality to give the plant the optimum environment in which to grow and thrive.

    • Espoma granular fertilizers, rich in natural organics, are excellent choices.

    • Saltwater Farms’ line of liquid seaweed products, applied as either a soil drench or a foliar feed, nourish plants with organic nutrients and help boost the plant’s defense mechanisms in coping with environmental stresses such as drought, disease and insect damage.