1) Dig a hole about twice as wide as the root ball or at least 1 foot (30cm) wider than the root ball diameter for basketed/burlapped trees.

2) Remove the plant from the container carefully and inspect the root ball. Using a knife, score vertically down the root ball 4 or 5 times about 1” deep. “Tease” or lossen circling, matted roots so they will grow into the surrounding soil. If you are planting a tree in a wire basket, do not remove the basket from the tree.

3) Place the plant in the hole with the top of the root ball at the same level as (NOT DEEPER THAN) the surrounding grade. Backfill with topsoil (loam) or a mixture of topsoil and peat moss. If you are fertilizing with bone meal, add some bone meal to the hole before you completely fill the hole, otherwise add water soluble fertilizer during watering (step 4).
For basketed/burlapped trees, cut away (or bend down) the visible wire and burlap after you have placed the tree in the hole and backfilled enough to hold the tree firmly in place. Pack gently to remove air pockets.

4) Water the root ball and surrounding soil thoroughly to settle soil and remove air pockets. Add water-soluble fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.
DO NOT fertilize with anything but bone meal after August 1 & DO NOT fertilize your lawn to within 1 to 2 meters of the trees leaf canopy.
Water regularly throughout the season whenever the soil feels dry about 2” down into the root zone or follow Step 6.

5) Water regularly throughout the growing season. Until trees and shrubs have rooted into the surrounding soil they need regular watering. Water two to three times weekly for the first growing season (two times if the tree or shrub tolerates drought conditions and three times if the tree or shrub prefers moist conditions).


If you are unsure of what volume of water you should use, you may estimate the volume of water needed based on the size of the container the tree or shrub was planted from:

#2 (8″ wide) container, volume ≈ 6 L, water with 6 L of water, 3 times per week;
#5 (10″ wide) container, volume ≈ 14 L, water with 14 L of water, 3 times per week:
#10 (15″ wide) container, volume ≈ 39 L, water with 14 L of water, 3 times per week.

These estimations should be decreased by one watering for every 1″ of rain that falls.

If you are unable to water your trees or shrubs regularly (for example, you may have planted at your cottage or at a rental property) or if you have selected one of the varieties below that need extra water you may want to try using Rechargeable Solid Water Bags or other water retaining aids to help provide moisture around your plant’s root zone.

that need extra water. Plant in low areas.

Maple (most varieties),

that may suffer from over watering. Plant in well drained areas or ask for more specific planting instructions.

Mountain Ash,
Schubert Chokecherry,
Amur Cherry,


Oak - When planting from potted stock, ensure that the tap root (main central root) has not started circling or spiralling in the pot. If it has started to spiral, gentle pull the root downwards and ensure your planting hole is deep enough to accommodate the extra length.

Maple - Water three times per week until Labour Day in September. For the next two to three weeks, do not water unless the daytime temperature is above 25°C. Water your tree one time per week after this until the water freezes.