Peter Stellas Farm

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How to plant
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How to plant and care for trees

hardiness zone mapSee also: Hardiness zone chart

1) Measure the ball and basket or ask your grower the ball dimensions prior to your pickup of the trees.

2) You can pre dig the holes before the tree delivery date to minimize the out of ground time for your tree.

3) Dig the holes at least 12 inches wider than the actual ball width and a few inches shallower than the actual ball height. The extra width allows soft unpacked dirt on the inside of the hole for new roots to break through in their first year!

4) Lay the tree flat on the ground and roll it carefully to the side of your hole! begin to pick up the tree and wiggle it in different directions as you let the ball and basket slide slowly into your hole!

5) Always make sure before putting the tree into the hole that the hole is not to deep! Measure the hole depth and the actual burlap bag height with a measuring stick or tape measure before planting! The shoulders of the tree must be slightly above the ground level, or about two or three inches above the lay of the land!

6) Toss a few shovels of loose dirt into the hole to hold the tree straight. Pull the burlap back off of the top and then tuck it into your hole. Most people cut the top of the wire basket off with a bolt cutter, or you can leave it on by bending the ears back into the hole. If you leave the top of the basket on the tree you must make sure it is fully buried so that it will rust and disappear. These baskets will be completely gone within 3 years and are designed to provide iron to the trees as they disintegrate. The burlap will be completely gone in only one year!

7) Before you put all of the dirt back into the hole cut the tree loose and unwrap the thin twine holding the branches. Straighten the tree and look at it from all different sides. This can only be done after it is fully open. Put the best side facing your desired location! A good trick to spin the tree in the hole is to use a 2 x 4 or something like a shovel handle. Just push it through the ears of the wire basket and it will be easy to turn in the hole.

8) Now completely burry the whole balled and burlapped tree, leaving a small mound of dirt around the trees throat. You can cover the dirt with mulch if you desire to help hold in moisture!

How to care for your trees:

I want to tell you to water your tree everyday for the first year, but it really isn't true! Yes, you will have to baby your tree for one full year from the day you plant it! Its really not that bad. Once you lap your first year you are almost guaranteed success. Ok, here are the basics.

1) Never let your tree get dry. If it is 90 and sunny your tree will stress more than a sunny day that is 60.

2) Look at the ends of the needles, if they ever wilt or droop your tree is stressing! A good watering at this time can make them perk up in just hours. Still don't ever let your tree get wilted. Keep the ground moist by soaking the tree every few days in very hot and dry weather. If it is cool and moist or overcast there is probably no need to water.

3) A very good hard soaking twice a week is better than a sprinkle every day!

4) Don't fertilize or trim for the first full year!

5) These trees are very hardy and very hard to kill.