Planting Trees & Shrubs…

Before You Plant

Always plant in a well drained soil. To test for soil drainage, dig a hole for your new plant and fill it with water. If the water doesn’t drain in 12 hours, the soil in that area will need to be amended dramatically.

What Plant Form are You Installing?

Your tree or shrub will come in two forms: Balled and burlap (B&B); or containerized.

Containerized or B&B plants can be planted anytime the ground is not frozen. If possible plant your tree or shrub as soon as you get it home.  Otherwise, it may dry out and become injured.  If you can’t plant it immediately, place it in a shady and/or sheltered location. Keep the soil moist until planted.

The Planting Hole

To plant your tree or shrub dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter and 6”-8” deeper than the root ball, replacing the 6”-8” of soil with enriched backfill.  Compact this 6”-8” of soil. Once the plant is placed in the hole, the top of the root ball should be slightly above or level with the surface of the ground.

Placing Your Plant in the Hole

Remove all tags, wires or ropes from the stems or trunk, and do the following:

Balled & Burlapped Plants:

DO NOT remove the wire basket. Once the enriched soil has been placed ¾ of the way up the root ball, cut & fold down the top ¼ of the basket & burlap, remove any strings around the tree trunk.  Fill the remaining hole with enriched soil to its original level.

Container Plants

Ease the pot off without disturbing the root ball. If the roots are extremely compacted, you may need to make a few shallow cuts through the roots on the side and bottom of the root ball to encourage roots to grow into the new soil.

Enriching Your Soil & Backfilling

Mix the soil taken out of the hole with Bumper Crop then backfill around the root ball. Tamp the soil lightly every 2”-3”, and fill the hole with the enriched soil to its original level.


Unless necessary, trees should not be staked. If your tree or shrub is top heavy or in an exposed area, you may stake the plant to anchor the root ball so roots can develop rapidly into the new soil around the tree. Connect the stakes to the trunk with flexible lines and straps designed for this use. Allow for some movement in the plant for strong growth.  Remove the stakes and lines after one growing season so you do not inhibit trunk development.

Planting Perennial & Annual Plants…

Plant your plants around your planting area while still in their pots. Make sure you have taken into consideration the mature height of the plants as well as the sun or shade requirements. Determine an appropriate location for planting, then dig a hole 2 times the width & 6”-8” deeper, replacing the first 6-8 inches of existing soil. Add a generous amount of Bumper Crop to enrich the soil. Blend into the soil.

Water your plants thoroughly, then remove them from their pots by inverting them and supporting the root ball. If the roots are compacted, you may need to make a few shallow cuts through the roots on the side and bottom of the root ball to encourage roots to grow into new soil. Place your plant into the hole. Add the enriched soil to ground level. Water the plant thoroughly to ensure the soil fills in completely around the roots, eliminating air pockets. Apply Rootmaster B1 at this time. Reapply Rootmaster B1 at every watering for the first year.  Monitor your plants daily. Water slowly to attain deep water penetration which encourages widespread root development. Feed annuals and perennials bi-weekly with Bud & Bloom fertilizer. Add a 1”- 3” mulch layer around the plant. This will prevent water loss and keep mowers & trimmers from getting too close to the plant. Avoid overly deep mulch against the stem or trunk of the plant, as this can promote disease or pest injury.

Animal Protection

Protect your trees, shrubs and garden plants from animal damage with monthly applications of Deer Scram Granular Repellent or Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit Repellent. Both are very effective to deterring deer and rabbits for up to 1 month when used as directed. Ask us for more details.

Our Guarantee

All trees and shrubs purchased at full price are guaranteed for a period of 3 years from date of original purchase provided they are planted in ground and receive reasonable are. Perennials, rose bushes, fruit trees & groundcovers purchased at full price are guaranteed for a period of 1 year. Annuals & houseplants are guaranteed for 30 days.  All plants will be replaced with a like plant, one time, provided the plant is returned with original receipt within the specified time period.  Guarantees do not apply to replacement plants or plants purchased at a discounted price. We cannot guarantee plants from animal damage.


Delivery & Installation ServicesMasterNurseryGardenCenters

  • Delivery from $35
  • Free delivery on purchases over $300
  • Tree & Shrub Installation from $99

Go to Tree and Shrub Installation or call 301-765-0224 for details.

Bumper Crop Organic Soil Conditioner, and Bud & Bloom Fertilizer are sold exclusively at Good Earth Garden Market and other Master Nursery Garden Centers.