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Proper Planting

Proper Planting Technique

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 After selecting the right plant for your landscape use proper planting technique to ensure that it thrives.

Dig the Hole

 The depth of the hole is very important. The top of the rootball (or root flare if the plant is balled & burlapped) should be at or slightly above (1") ground level. The diameter of the hole isn't as important (we recommend about 18" larger than the diameter of the rootball). The sides of the hole should be roughened up, especially in soils with high clay content.


Place the Plant


If you are planting a containerized plant, make several vertical 1 inch-deep cuts in the rootball to encourage faster root development. If you are planting a balled & burlapped plant, be sure to remove all string around the trunk (especially synthetic string, like nylon) and pull back the burlap. Burlap (as long as it's not synthetic) and wire cages can be folded back and do not need to be entirely removed from the root ball.




Use only the existing soil as backfill. Add and tamp the soil in several layers while making sure the plant is straight. Once half of the hole is filled in add the proper amount of PHC Tree Saver, a biostimulant, mycorrhizal fungi inoculum, and water retentive gel (Tree Saver is compatible with most plants). Continue filling the hole, packing the soil moderately. Create a small rim around the rootball to catch and retain moisture taking care that no soil is put directly on top of the rootball.




A layer of mulch (3" thick) will retain soil moisture, moderate soil temperature, and reduce weeds. Be sure to keep the mulch from directly contacting the trunk of the plant.




Water thoroughly (for at least the first full season) by slow trickle to hydrate the surrounding soil and Tree Saver product. Rule of thumb: Perennials: 2-5 gallons every 5-7 days; Shrubs: 5-7 gallons every 5-7 days; Trees: 15-25 gallons every 7-10 days.


Enjoy your new planting! Do not fertilize the plant until the following year.


Sources: Compiled from experience and information from the Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist Reference Guide. For more information visit us on the web at