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Planting Trees and Shrubs in Clay or Sandy Soil

Are you curious about planting trees and shrubs in clay or sandy soil? Read on for instructions on how to plant in various soil conditions.

Planting Instructions for Clay Soil

1. Dig hole 12" wider than container or root ball, leaving 6" of space on all sides.

2. In heavy or clay-based soils that drain poorly, dig hole shallower than root ball - so that root ball sits about 3-6" above grade. Before planting tree or shrub, loosen 3-6" of soil in bottom of hole. Do not amend loosened soil. Remove container by laying plant on side and sliding container off of plant.

3. GENTLY guide plant into hole, making sure to set tree or shrub in good upright position.

4. Backfill the space around the root ball with existing soil that has been amended with about one cubic foot (per tree) of peat moss, compost or topsoil. Liquid or granular upstart may be added at this time as well. Now is the time to add Root Stimulator or Mykes Tree & Shrub.
Proper planting is the most important step in a tree's life. Giving a tree the proper space and water is important when planting in adverse soils.

Planting Instructions for Sandy Soil or Gravel

1. Dig hole 12" wider than container or root ball, leaving 6" of space on all sides.

2. In gravel or sand-based soils that drain rapidly, dig the hole deep enough to accommodate the entire root ball or container. Do not amend soil at bottom of hole. After planting, root ball should be flush with surrounding grade. Remove container by laying plant on side and sliding container off plant.

3. GENTLY guide plant into hole, making sure to set tree or shrub in good upright position.

4. Backfill the space around the root ball with existing soil that has been amended with about one cubic foot (per tree) of peat moss, compost, or topsoil. Liquid granular upstart may be added at this time as well. Now is the time to add Root Stimulator or Mykes Tree & Shrub.

For both sandy and clay soils, the trees bud graft should be ABOVE THE SOIL LINE. Shrubs should be planted at the same depth as grown at the nursery.

Finish the planting by placing three to six inches of mulch over the exposed soil around the base of the tree.

Watering and Maintenance

After the tree or shrub has been properly planting, it is important to water the plant, unless soils are already saturated with recent heavy rains. In this case it is advisable to wait a day or two before watering. To water a newly planted shrub or tree, insert a garden hose into the backfilled soil and slowly allow water to completely fill hole. Water should be administered to all newly-planted shrubs and trees on an "as-needed" basis throughout their entire first season. This is necessary because the plant's root system is not yet capable of support the plant. However, do not overwater. Always check the moisture content of the surrounding soil before watering.

The most common causes of tree failure are over watering and damage from lawn mowers.

All trees and shrubs perform best with regular fertilization like Gertens Shrub, Tree, and Perennial Controlloed Release Plant Food, beginning in early spring. It is generally best to stop fertilizing shrubs and trees in August. This gives the plant time to slow down and harden before winter.