Phone & Mail
1408 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca NY 14850
Planting Instruction Checklist (check as you go)
________1) Your trees arrived! Open the box and pull out the bundle(s) We usually wrap the roots in plastic.
________2) Do not let the trees freeze. Put them in a cool place out of the sun.
________3) Never let your tree roots dry out! If the roots are
wrapped in plastic then just leave them in their plastic wrap. It
would be a good idea to stick a hose into the bag and wet them down.
If you are going to plant same day or next, just take the whole bundle
and put it into a trash can full of water or a pond. Trees cannot soak
for more than 24 hours. They will drown!
________3a) It is also very appropriate to heel in your trees.
Make sure that the roots are thoroughly covered in soil or wet
________4) Dig a hole the size of a bushel basket. This would be
about 18 inches deep by 18 inches in diameter. If you have a nice
loamy soil then just use the same soil. If you have a poor soil mix
50/50 with either potting soil or well rotted manure.
________5) Once again, it is very important that the roots do not
dry out. Just bring out one tree at a time, or drag a trashcan with
water in it to the planting area. Put the trees into it.
________6) It is better to trim the roots to fit the hole rather than twisting the roots to fit the hole.
________7) Place the tree into the hole. The graft union should
be 3-5 inches above true soil line. There are exceptions to this
rule. We do recommend burying the graft union of Plum, Peach and
Cherry on Mazzard rootstock by about an inch.
________8) Back fill with your soil mix half way. Do not add raw
fertilizers or raw manure to soil mixture. Tamp the soil with your
foot. Pour in 1-2 gallon of water. Let the water percolate. Tamp
again with the heel of your foot. It is very very important to tamp
thoroughly. This gets rid of air pockets. Back fill the rest of the
way with soil. Water again. Tamp again. Come back next day after it
has all settled and water and tamp yet again. Of all the waterings in
a trees life this is the most important one!
_______9) If you are going to stake your tree (recommended for
dwarf and semidwarf apple) then this is a time to do it. A good solid
metal T-stake 8ft-10 ft tall will work. Make sure to pound it well
into the ground. You may want to pound it in next to the tree before
backfilling. This is an important stake. The weight of future apple
crops depend on it so take you time and pound it in. Peaches, Plums,
Cherries, Apricots and Pears don't require staking.
If you don't top the trees, the chances of surviving transplant are decreased.
.Topping your trees
O.K. Now your trees are planted. What's next? .....
This can be a painful process. We sometimes have to prune the trees to
fit into the shipping boxes. Some stone fruit gets 8-10 ft tall in the
nursery! The pruning that we do at shipping time is usually not
enough. Be Brave. Cut the tops as we suggest and you and your trees
will be much happier. Topping promotes strong healthy growth and gives
you a well shaped tree.
Apples and Pears:
1) Feathered trees. If a tree has branches, trim the central
leader back half way and all side branches back half way. This is
minimum pruning. It would not be incorrect to prune the central leader
back to 38 inches from the graft union and prune all branches back to
3/4 inch nubs.
2) Whips or trees with one or two branches. Trim all branches back
to 3/4 in nubs. Cut central leader back to 38 inches from graft union.
Peaches and Tart Cherries:
Prune all of the branches back to 2 inch nub and top the tree at 30 inches above the graft union.
Sweet Cherries and Plums and Apricots:
If feathered cut all branches back 1/2 way and central leader back half way. If a whip, top at 34 inches above graft union.
Fertilizer and Water:
Trees should be watered 1-2 times a week throughout the season.
3-4 gallons of water. We do recommend fertilizer a month after
planting. 4 oz of 10-10-10 scattered around the base and watered in.
Miracle Grow follow the label instructions. If organic, follow the
recommends. Too much fertilizer is not a good thing. Too little, and
you don't get enough growth.
Keep the weeds away....Whatever it takes....Landscape fabric, old magazines, bark mulch. We do not recommend herbicides in the establishment year.
Keep the Deer, Mice and Rabbits out! We recommend spiral plastic tree wraps for the rabbits and mice.
Deer....Fences are best. Repellents work if you spray them every 7-10
days without fail. There is no point in planting a tree if the varmits
are going to destroy it. Lots of money and time wasted!
If you follow all of the above steps, you'll give your trees a great start.