Congratulations on your new plant or tree. Your new plant relies on you to care for it for at least 3 years until it is established. With care, your plant should live a long life and serve many purposes in your garden. Below are tips to get it started in the right direction.

  • Give the new plant a long, deep watering using a soaker hose or dripline - NOT a sprinkler. If you don’t own a soaker hose, put your garden hose on a very slow trickle and let it drip over the plant’s root ball.
  • Let the water run for 1 hour before turning off the hose or dripline. Wait another hour to let the water penetrate the soil. Then, dig a hole near the root ball (please don’t dig into the roots!) to see how deep water has penetrated.
  • The goal is to deliver water at least one foot (12 inches) into the soil. If water penetrated 6 inches, double the soaking time. If water is well deeper than 12 inches, reduce the soaking time accordingly.
  • Soil conditions vary greatly from garden to garden and plant to plant. Find out early in your plant’s life how long it takes to get water 12 inches deep.
  • After the initial soak, top dress the new plant with a light layer (1 inch or less) of a mulch to retain moisture. Avoid piling mulch up base of the trunk, as this can lead to rot.
  • Your plant will rely on YOU for water – especially between April 1 and mid-November – for the first three years after planting. On average, your plant will need a deep soak every week or two. In times of heavy rain, water less frequently. In the heat of summer, water more frequently.

Long deep waterings as described above will help your plant develop a healthy root system and help prevent shallow roots from forming. As your plant establishes, it develops a robust root system that can find cool moist conditions below ground.

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