Planting & Care of your Tree-Mendous Trees

MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES – FOREST SERVICE
410-260-8510
(Toll free 1-877-620-8367 ext. 8510)
Fax 410-260-8595
Tawes State Office Building E-1,
580 Taylor Ave.,
Annapolis, MD 21401

Planting

Plant the right tree in the right place! Don't plant tall-growing trees under power lines and remember to call MISS UTILITY (1-800-257-7777) 48 hours prior to planting. Consider soil and environmental conditions, and size of the area.

Plant Figure

  1. Dig hole 2-3 times as wide as container or root ball.
  2. Dig hole no deeper than height of new tree’s root ball. Top of root ball should be level or slightly above soil surface. Better 1” too high – than 1” too low!
  3. Remove container, cut large and circling roots. Gently pull and loosen outside roots from the root ball.
  4. Place tree in prepared hole, being sure the tree is straight up and centered in the hole.
  5. Do not add soil amendments such as manure, fertilizer or peat moss.
  6. Backfill hole with original soil, breaking up clumps and tamping firmly as you go. Do not tamp on the roots, only around the roots. Remove soil from grass clumps. Do not replace grass in hole.
  7. Apply 4” of mulch to entire disturbed area. Do not let mulch touch the tree trunk.
  8. After tree is planted, water to settle soil and minimize large air pockets.

Mulching

Apply 4” of mulch evenly to the entire disturbed surface area around the tree. Avoid mounding mulch. Keep the mulch 2” clear of trunk to avoid creating favorable places for pests and rotting of bark.

Watering

Water for recently planted trees is essential! Some water is better than none, but 3-5 gallons a week, if it doesn’t rain, is ideal. Water slowly to avoid runoff.

Browning, wilting, scorch, and dieback are most often caused by lack of water. Don’t wait for signs of moisture stress to show before watering.

Fertilizing

You may begin to fertilize your trees the second year after planting to improve growth rate and density of foliage. Apply slow release fertilizer late September to early November. Broadcast about ¼ lb of 33-0-0 (nitrogen) per 5’x5’ area from the trunk outward. Or apply a balanced fertilizer (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micronutrients) according to the manufacturer’s label. Remember, too much fertilizer will injure your tree!


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