Plant Materials Warranty: We do not warranty any of our plant materials because as soon as it leaves our location, the maintenance obligation transfers to the new owner. I get 2 or 3 calls a year from clients voicing their concern that our plant did not make it through the winter. I have gone out to consult on a few of these calls so that I could try to understand what exactly is going on with the plants. What I find most of the time is that the plant is not properly installed-- let me explain more. In our area, the soils are often extremely compacted which provides an adequate nutrient value to grow a plant but poor drainage. When planting trees, always choose a well-drained area. I regularly see folks dig a hole and stick the tree into the hole. What ultimately ends up happening, especially in the winter, is that the hole acts like a swimming pool until the water can drain. If the water doesn’t drain out in time, it will drown the tree. No matter how much soil amendment you put in the hole, if the ground is hard-packed, it’s a good possibility that it won't drain well during wet winter months,and the tree will suffocate.

To avoid these common problems, try to follow these simple steps when planting a tree or larger plant:
1) Always place the plant on the upper side of a slope. This way, water has a place to move if the area is saturated during the winter.
2) Use the 3x2 rule-- Dig the hole three times as wide and twice as deep as the root ball. This will allow the roots to easily establish and help the break into the onsite soil.
3) Don’t worry about amending the soil, in fact the onsite soil is best as the tree will need to break out and grow in this soil. Most importantly, dig a proper hole.
4) Never plant in a low spot or an area known for poor drainage.
5) Never plant in lawn areas--this may look nice, but summer water and winter rains will saturate the area eventually drowning the plant.
6) Place some round rock in the bottom 1/3rd of the hole. Pea gravel, ¾ round, or larger round rock will create air pockets and allow the roots to survive should the hole become saturated.
7) Don’t over-water in the summer months. The best rule of thumb is to water once per week thoroughly by saturating the hole, then let the water drain out for a week, and re-water.
8) Stake all trees for at least one full growing season. This will ensure that fall winds do not tear at the root crown of newly developed roots.
Hope this helps, for more questions give us a call at the Shoppe!

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