tree planting guide

September marks the beginning of the autumn planting season.

While it is possible to plant trees and shrubs in the heat of summer, it is often easier on the plant if you wait until the temperatures cool somewhat in September or October. Also, if you have clay soil it is often easier to dig in after the first significant shower of the autumn.

We always stock up on conifers this time of year. Many of these are quite unusual and this is the only time of year that we get some of them. Be sure to stop by frequently to see what we have in new arrivals.

We've included a few planting tips for you this month:

Planting & Fertilizing

Dig a hole about twice the width of the rootball and the same depth. Break up soil in a wider area if possible. Drainage issues can be helped by mixing pumice thoroughly into planting soil. Pour ½ of an organic all-purpose fertilizer in hole and mix slightly.

tree plantingCarefully remove the tree from container and loosen roots. If there are large, circling roots remove them. If the tree is a B&B (balled and burlapped), cut the twine and open the ball. Leave burlap connected to roots intact, while trimming off any burlap that is not attached to the roots.

Lower the tree into hole, setting it in hole at the same level as it was in the pot. If there is a graft (swollen point where trunk and roots join) it should remain at least 2” above ground. A buried graft may rot, killing the tree.

Gently but firmly back-fill soil mixture into hole. If soil is dry, fill hole halfway and then water tree. After it drains, back-fill with remaining soil.

Mulch! Mulch! Mulch!

Add a ring of bark-based mulch around the base of the tree starting about 6" away from the trunk, covering the root zone. Mound bark higher around the outside edges to trap and hold water. Sprinkle remaining ½ of fertilizer onto soil ring. When done planting, water slowly and thoroughly, even if it's raining.

Staking

Drive stakes down 14” deep on either side of the tree – making sure not to damage the root ball. Attach green stretchy tape approx. 4 ½ feet up the stake, varying slightly depending on tree size. Wrap tape around trunk 360°, and attach back at the stake.

Be sure to allow enough slack for tree to sway slightly in the wind, this will help it to build a strong root system, while protecting it from falling. Check the tightness of the tape periodically as the tree grows, replace it if it becomes too tight. Remove tape and stakes after 1 year.


know your tree

Find the best Trees for your Garden

We carry a wide variety of trees year-round. These represent only a fraction of what you will find and are some of our favorites. Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.

Trees

Abies: The Fir Tree

Natives

Native Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Native Acer Circinatum:

Vine Maple
Trees

Acers for Fall Color

Trees

Acer palmatum: Japanese Maple

Trees

Bird Haven

Trees

Cercis: Redbud

Trees

Conifers

Trees

Cornus: Dogwood

Trees

Cryptomeria: Japanese Cedar

Trees

Fruit Trees

Trees

Ginkgo: Maidenhair Tree

Trees

Heptacodium: Seven Sons Flower

Trees

Lagerstroemia: Crape Myrtle

Trees

Larix: Larch Tree

Trees

Magnolia Trees

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Trees

Miniature Conifers

Trees

Oxydendrum: The Sourwood Tree

Trees

Picea: The Spruce Tree

Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Trees

Planting Tips

Trees

Pruning Guide

Trees

Prunus: Cherries &
their Prunus relatives

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Trees

Salix: Willow

Trees

Stewartia

Trees

Styrax: Japanese Snowbell

Trees

Tree Selection Guide