Tree and Shrub Planting Guide

Follow these simple tree and shrub planting guidelines to help your plants establish quickly.


Thoroughly water root ball in container before planting. Never plant a dry plant. Gently pull apart roots at bottom of root ball; make 3 vertical cuts on root ball deep enough to cuts roots growing in a circular manner; Use pruners to cut any thicker, woody roots that are circling. This encourages the plant to send out roots into the surrounding soil. It will also prevent them from girdling the trunk and slowing the flow of nutrients and water.

Dig hole 2-3 times wider than the root ball but not deeper; Plant to the same depth of the soil line in the container or slightly higher Crown rot/fungal diseases can happen if water sits on the crown of the plant.

Soil Amendments: We recommend MOBOT compost mixed in with the native soil at a ratio of 1 part compost/4 parts soil. DO NOT USE POTTING SOIL This is a waste of money and does nothing to help the plant get established.


We recommend Root Stimulator by Fertilome. Pour the diluted solution on the root ball prior to backfilling (make sure the root ball is moist so you don’t burn the roots with the fertilizer) Repeat in 7-10 days by pouring the diluted solution on top of the soil around the base of the plant. Repeat monthly doing your last application in September. Remember, more is not better when using fertilizer. For acid loving plants: hydrangea, azalea, rhododendron, evergreens, etc. we recommend using soil sulphur twice a year the first year (once yearly after that) to provide some acid. Our soil is more alkaline.


Turn hose on to 1/2 -1/3 strength. Set at base of plant for approximately 6 minutes for every foot of height. For example: a 4’ shrub should be watered for at least 24 minutes. This will thoroughly saturate the roots and surrounding area. Repeat approximately every 4-6 days. Keep a watchful eye on the plant-this is only a general guideline. Some plants are thirstier and will require water sooner. If your plant should dry out (the leaves will wilt/hang and then turn brown on the ends) you aren’t watering enough. But, this doesn’t mean your plant has died. Break a twig and if it bends the tree/shrub still has life in it. The new leaves next spring will be fine.  DURING PERIODS OF EXTREME DROUGHT watering in this manner is the most effective.  Saturating the root system is vital.


1” layer of mulch covering the root zone will help conserve moisture. Do not allow the mulch to touch the plant stems or trunk as this can cause disease.

(618) 235-2004
2004 West Blvd
 • Belleville, IL 62221

Did you know we can deliver plants locally for a small fee? For a small additional fee we will wrap your plant in burlap and add a fancy bow.

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