Unpacking Your Trees
There will be more than one tree in your package. Remove the plastic bag around the roots and the twist tie holding your trees together. Separate your trees, carefully untangling the roots. Please note that the roots have been covered with a hydrating gel which keeps them moist during shipment. Soak the roots in water for 3–6 hours. (Do not allow the roots to dry out.)
Refer to the identification sheet included with the trees to identify each tree by bark ID color. This sheet also shares some details about each tree. Can’t find that sheet? You can download it here.
Not sure whether your dormant tree is still alive? Make a tiny scratch in the bark. If it reveals a layer of green, the tree is good to go.
Caring for Your Trees
The soil and mulch around your trees should be kept moist but not soggy. During dry weather, generously water the tree every 7 to 10 days during the first year. Water slowly at the drip line.
Do not use fertilizer, potting soil, or chemicals on your baby trees. Such products will kill your young trees.
How do I know if my trees are alive?
All of our bare-root trees are shipped in a dormant state. This means that deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves every year) will generally be leafless. If you’re not sure whether your dormant tree is still alive, a tiny scratch in the bark will put your mind at ease. This will reveal a living layer of green — a sure sign your tree is very much alive.
Why is there no soil around the roots of the trees?
The trees you received are bare-root trees. They are shipped when dormant without soil around their roots. To keep the trees hydrated during shipping, the roots are coated in a hydrating gel. Bare-root trees are easier to plant at the correct depth, and their roots re-establish quickly once planted, meaning growth will begin quickly.
It’s December. Can I really still plant my trees?
Please rest assured that your trees have been shipped to you at the right time for planting bare-root trees in your hardiness zone. Yes, sometimes that means December. As long as you can get a spade into the ground, you can plant your trees. Watch this video for more information about fall planting.