Shrubs are sold in containers, or balled and burlapped, with the roots enclosed in soil and held together with a piece of cloth. Brisk autumn days are perfect for planting most shrubs, about six to eight weeks before the ground freezes. Warm days, cool nights and increased rainfall encourage roots to become established before the onset of winter. Plants that have become well adjusted to their new environment are better able to endure the stresses of summer without depleting internal water reserves.

Dig a hole with sloping sides that is twice the size of the root ball. Create an ideal planting mixture by mixing one part Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss to two parts soil. Using a garden fork, loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and break up the earth on the sides.

Balled and burlapped shrubs can be placed in the planting hole as is, because the burlap will disintegrate. The top of the burlap wrapping should be folded back after the ball is firmed into position with soil. The burlap can be removed before planting, as some gardeners prefer.

When the plant is packaged in anything other than burlap, the container should be removed. Then examine the roots. If they are tightly encircling the root ball, loosen them, or cut several slits into the root ball to encourage new growth.

Put the shrub in place so the soil level mark on the trunk is level with the top of the planting hole and fill the hole halfway with amended soil. Water the soil to eliminate air pockets and then finish filling the hole. Water the plant thoroughly.

Water shrubs weekly during the growing season for the first two to three years after planting. Water more often if it is very hot or if foliage wilts.

plant, by preparing the top six inches of soil in a radius of three to six feet around the planting hole. Break up the soil and amend it with a two-inch layer of Canadian Peat to increase water absorption and air circulation, which is so vital to the expanding root system.

  1. Set the tree so the soil level mark on the trunk is even with the top of the planting hole. Remove any packaging that contained the tree, and prune off any bad roots.
  2. Spread the roots, backfill the hole halfway and water the soil. Watering helps eliminate air pockets by packing the soil around the roots.
  3. Complete the backfilling and create a low saucer-like depression around the hole to help hold in water. Mulch around the base of the tree with a two-inch layer of the leftover amended soil. Fill the ridge to ground level with a mixture of Canadian Peat and soil in about a year, after the tree is well established. This will prevent a puddle from forming around the tree after heavy rains.
  4. Staking trains trees to grow straight. One stake can be used for a bare root tree. Drive the stake firmly next to the trunk and tie it to the tree four inches below the lowest branch. Two stakes are needed for balled and budapped trees. Stretch rope or wire from the trunk to stakes on either side. Put padding between the ties and the trunk to protect the tree. Loosen the ties as the tree grows to prevent it from being strangled.
  5. Water the tree thoroughly—and whenever there is dry weather during the first year after the tree is planted. Until its roots have spread out well into their new home, a tree is very vulnerable to water stress. Apply water slowly, preferably with a soaker hose, so that moisture is absorbed gradually into the soil.


H Beloved by poets and enshrined by history, trees have been valued throughout the ages. Many early settlers brought trees from China, Japan and Korea. The ginkgo, many magnolias, Oriental cherries, and crab apples from the Far East are just as familiar to North American homeowners as are native trees, such as the flowering dogwood, or evergreen white fir and douglas fir.

The enduring appeal of trees lies in their versatility. Besides providing privacy, shade and windbreaks, trees soak up noise and glare, hold the soil, and bring beauty and color into the garden. Used as borders, screens or accents, trees also provide visual interest by framing a house and enclosing space.

Most importantly, trees help fight global warming by taking in carbon dioxide. A single growing tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 13 pounds per year.

Here are some tips to ensure planting success:

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