1) Dig a hole about twice as wide as the root ball. Especially for wire cage/burlap trees, the hole should be at least 1 foot (30cm) wider than the diameter of the root ball.

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. Loosen circled, 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 ground. If you are fertilizing with bone meal, add some bone meal to the hole. Then backfill with topsoil (loam) or a mixture of topsoil and peat moss and completely fill the hole.

**For wire cage/burlap trees: After you have placed the tree in the hole, backfill enough soil to hold the tree firmly in place. Then cut away (or bend down) the visible wire and burlap. Next completely fill the hole with soil and pack gently to remove air pockets.

4) Water the root ball and surrounding soil thoroughly to settle soil and remove air pockets. When you are watering add water-soluble fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.

**After August 1st DO NOT fertilize with anything, except for bone meal, and DO NOT fertilize your lawn to within 1 to 2 meters of the tree’s leaf canopy.

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. In the event of a heat wave or drought, it is best to water newly planted trees and shrubs every day in the morning. During prolonged heat waves, water in the morning and evening.


When planting from potted stock, ensure that the tap root (main central root) has not started spiraling inside the pot. If it has started to spiral, gently pull the root downwards and ensure the planting hole is deep enough to accommodate the extra length.

Maples should be watered around three times a week. After Labour Day reduce watering to once a week, unless daytime temperatures exceed 25°C. Stop watering once water outside begins to freeze.


Water two to three times weekly for the first growing season.

If you are unsure of how much water you should use, you may estimate the volume of water needed based on the size of the tree or shrub’s container.

#2 container (8″ wide) needs ≈ 6 L water
#5 container (10″ wide) needs ≈ 14 L water
#10 container (15″ wide) needs ≈ 39 L water

**1 inch of rain is the same as watering for the day (keep in mind that in Alberta we rarely receive 1 inch at a time)

If you are unable to water your trees and shrubs regularly, Rechargeable Solid Water Bags or other water retaining aids like mulch provide and hold moisture around your plant’s root zone. These additions around trees and shrubs are very helpful if they are planted far away at a cottage or require extra water to thrive.


These varieties need extra water when planted. Ideal to plant in low-lying areas with moist, but still well-draining soil.

* Birch
* Most Maple Varieties
* Willow
* Dogwoods
* Bog Rosemary



Although these varieties tolerate dry conditions, they should still be watered for at least two years. Yet once they are established, these trees and shrubs can tolerate dry sandy soil.

* Mountain Ash
* Schubert Chokecherry
* Cherries & Plums
* Junipers
* Potentilla