All our trees are sent BARE ROOT, well packed in moist shredded paper or moist wood shavings.
Upon arrival immediately heel your plants into a trench of worked earth and keep them shaded. Roots must be cool and damp at all times (not just left in a bucket of water!).
Prepare your sites before taking plants into the field. The bigger the planting hole, the better: even a seedling's roots will soon fill it.
Use the soil from planting location to fill in the hole. This will help the tree integrate into its new environment. Large rocks can be removed, arranged near the surface or gently placed in the hole (depending on the rock).
Well-rotted manure or finished compost can be spread on top of the replaced soil, but away from the trunk. Nutrients will trickle down as it rains, aiding in strong growth. Apply mulch (leaves, woodchips, straw or hay) heavily to prevent nutrient, and moisture loss, while feeding the soil biology.
Dry weather watering is necessary for the first two years after planting. Heavy watering once a week is better than daily sprinkling.
Keep weed free.
Fall Planting & Late Orders
"April is the cruelest month," T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can't keep, all passion is really a setup, and we're doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree and would further add:
"Who cares? Every spring I go there anyway..."
Barbara Kingsolver - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Winters drive our customers into despondency, which we take full advantage of with the timely arrival of our catalog in February. Though hunched under the white stuff, Canadians retain hope (to judge by their orders for greenery).
This hope does not spring eternal. After May 24th we can hardly give trees away. Urges have died. Shovels & trowels are kicked under the shed as lawnmowers reluctantly bark back to life launching a summer campaign which proves to be more against nature than with her.
"Daiquiris & the breast stroke!" cry the summer folk: instead they get attacked by the Amazonian vigour of the vegetation around them. Little wonder then that the planting instinct is so much feebler in September than in April.
A pity this, for autumn is often the best time to plant. Most soils are unflooded & more friable. Site preparation then is usually better planned & more leisurely. Plants are less stressed too as they slow down for the winter. November with her rains settles in the freshly planted roots for an early start in spring. Best news of all: no heat waves, no bugs.
In fall our business catches up at last with your late spring orders. Once leaves have broken out in May the trees cannot be shipped bare-root until the dormancy returns in September. This actually profits the late-ordering customer with an extra season's growth, free.
A few suggestions for fall plantings: water well and mulch with sawdust, leaves or wet hay to prevent frost heave. In our Zone 5a we plant from early September (after a hard frost) to late October.
Best Planted In Spring
Willows, Birch, Silver and Red Maples are all spring germinators and may not thrive if moved in the fall. Catalpa and Kentucky Coffee Tree also transplant with greater success in the spring. These two are very slow to leaf out but suddenly burst forth in late May.