If the tree you are planting is balled and burlapped, or bare rooted, it is important to understand that the tree's root system has been reduced by 90-95% of its original size during transplanting. As a result of the trauma caused by the digging process, trees will commonly exhibit what is known as transplant shock (TS). TS is indicated by slow growth and reduced vigor following transplanting. Proper site preparation before and during planting, coupled with good followup care will reduce the amount of time the plant experiences TS and will allow the tree to quickly establish in its new location. Carefully follow eight simple steps and you can significantly reduce the stress placed on the plant at the time of planting.
"It's better to put a $100 tree in a $200 hole than to put a $200 tree in a $100 hole."
Fill the remainder of the hole, taking care to firmly pack soil to eliminate air pockets that may cause roots to dry out. To avoid this problem, add the soil a few inches at a time and settle with water. Continue this process until the hole is filled and the tree is firmly planted. It is not recommended to apply fertilizer at the time of planting.
Other follow-up care may include minor pruning of branches damaged during the planting process. Prune sparingly immediately after planting, and wait to begin necessary corrective pruning until after a full season of growth in the new location.
After you've completed these eight simple steps, further routine care and
favorable weather conditions will ensure that your new tree or shrub will grow
and thrive. A valuable asset to any landscape, trees provide a long-lasting
source of beauty and enjoyment for people of all ages. When questions arise
about the care of your tree, be sure to consult your local ISA Certified
Arborist, tree care or garden center professional for assistance.
Developed by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a non-profit organization supporting tree care research around the world and dedicated to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees. For further information, contact: ISA, P.O. Box 3129, Champaign, IL 61826-3129, USA.
© 1995 International Society
UPDATED FEBRUARY 2000