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5 Often Overlooked Tips for Planting Trees and Shrubs in Spring

Fall is typically recognized as the best time for planting trees and shrubs. However, with proper care, spring is still a great time to enhance your property with the addition or replacement of landscape plantings.

For a good list of 9 steps involved in planting a tree click here.

Planting Trees and Shrubs in Spring

Additionally, here are some tips above and beyond the basic steps to planting:

1. Remember that trees and shrubs are living things and handle them with care during the transporting and planting process.


Consider things like driving slower or wrap the tops of trees to avoid wind damage to foliage in transport. Driving 50 mph is like having a 50 mph sustained wind blowing across the plants. This can cause stress not only by defoliating the plants but it also dehydrates them as well.

Be careful not to break limbs or in the case of some evergreens such as arborvitaes, “bruise” the foliage by grabbing and moving the plant instead of reaching into the plant and holding and moving by the trunk. This can result in the appearance of brown spots roughly the size of your hand, several days later.

Use a ramp to get heavy root balls down from the back of a truck or trailer instead of dropping them directly onto the ground.


2. Plan to get plants into the ground in a timely manner after purchase or delivery.


If planting trees and shrubs can’t happen immediately, then keep container plants watered and move B&B plants into the shade. Water and cover roots with burlap or an old blanket to keep them from drying out.


3. It is necessary to make sure all twine is removed from around the trunk of trees to prevent girdling and strangulation.


See this video on common tree planting mistakes by Dowco’s Botanist, Chuck Caverly.


4. Babysit and hand water your new plantings.


Most people under estimate the amount of water new plants need. Sprinkler systems alone generally will not provide enough water to get new plants established. Underground irrigation systems are ideal for keeping established plants watered, but the initial atering should be done by hand. If planting in the spring, this may very well continue through the summer months even with an irrigation system.


5. Consider tree staking if needed.


Typically there isn’t a real need to stake trees unless the trunk is loose at the top of the ball or if the tree is planted in an open location where high winds can be expected. People tend to forget to check the staking in 6 months to 1 year, but you should to prevent the tree from over-growing the wire or straps around the trunk.



Dowco is the premier provider of lawn care and landscape maintenance services. We are committed to improving the quality of your life so that you can spend time doing the things you want to do! Our full service menu includes weekly maintenance of your property, plant health visits, and modern site enhancements.


St. louis landscape companies

(636) 532-9192



Topics: Seasonal Yard Maintenance Tree & Shrub Care Dowco Specific Plant Care

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