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General Planting Guide

Water & Care

Whatever you're planting, our General Planting Guide is a great resource to use. Just follow our easy 7-step process and your plants will be thrilled you did.


1. Dig a hole as deep as the current container and just a few inches wider than the container. Remove any fist sized rocks from the dirt. If you have heavy clay soil, you can add some amendments, such as compost, but you should use most of the soil you initially removed when digging the hole. Too much amendment can result in the roots circling the root ball instead of moving outward into the soil. 

** We highly encourage you to fill the hole with water first and allow it to soak in. This also is a good test to check your soil condition. If it drains too slowly or quickly, add soil amendments to assist. **

2. Lightly squeeze the container to loosen up the dirt and firmly grasp the base of the plant to gently remove it from its container. Then place the root ball of the plant in the hole. Do NOT bury plants deeper than the soil level of the container. If the container plant has very mature roots encircling the root ball, you may gently loosen them outwards to encourage proper growth. 

3. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap, set it in the hole and make sure the soil level of the plant is even or slightly higher than the existing soil level. DO NOT REMOVE THE BURLAP OR METAL CAGING. This can cause the soil to collapse from the roots and endanger the success of the planting. The burlap and/or metal caging will not affect the growth or health of the tree as these materials will gradually decay. 

4. Being filling the hole around the root ball and push soil in to make sure to avoid air pockets. If adding amendments, like compost or topsoil, use a 50/50 mix. You can utilize products like Tree Saver packets or starter fertilizer tabs as well. Fill soil up to the soil level of the container or root ball. Never plant deeper than the existing soil and never place extra soil against the trunk. 

***If the plant has burlap, once it's planted firmly, remove only the very TOP of the burlap and be sure to cut away and rope that is tied around the planting. You can also fold back the burlap instead of cutting it away. 

5. Water it thoroughly. Check out our watering guidelines after step 6 for perennials, shrubbery, bushes and trees. 

**If plant is located on a slope, making a water retention ring would be beneficial**

6. Apply root stimulators after planting and watering.

We recommend 3 applications every 2-3 weeks.

Use 3.5 Tablespoons per gallon of water.

The support products are sufficient nutrients for the first year of the root development. After one year, you will be able to apply fertilizers with a higher nitrogen content. 

7. Mulching the root ball area with wood mulch is strongly recommended. Never mulch directly against the plant or tree trunk. Spread mulch the width of the root ball and a minimum of 1-2" deep. If planting a Dogwood tree, apply mulch approximately 2-4" deep. 


For the first year, watering is very crucial for your new plantings. 
For perennials. water 3X a week. 

For 5-10 gal containers, apply 10-15 gallons of water 1-2X per week

For 15+ gal containers, apply 20-25 gallons of water 1-2x per week

Ball and Burlap roots require 10 gallons per inch trunk caliper size. 

Sprinklers and rain are NOT adequate for watering ANY plantings.



Over the first winter, apply a deep soaking every 2-3 weeks. Evergreens especially need water in the winter months and dry conditions. 


Begin a fertilization program the following year after planting. Granular fertilizers applied at soil level are recommended. 


In the fall when the leaves drop, it is recommended to wrap the trunk of your deciduous tree from the ground up to the first branches. Paper tree wrap or spiral expanding collars are beneficial as they protect the tender bark from animal damage and possible sunscald.

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For more information, 

you can call the store at 417-882-5200, email us at, or send us a message on Google or Facebook!

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