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How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Woody Plants: Deciduous Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

Woody deciduous plants are those that drop their leaves at the end of the growing season. We ship nicely established, containerized, 2- to 3-year-old plants. Please see individual listing for container size. Plants are shipped throughout the growing season, from March through November, weather permitting.

Hardiness Zones
See individual listings for hardiness zones.

Choosing a Location
Select a site that provides maximum visual and ornamental effect. In addition to their form, shrubs and small trees provide beauty from their flowers, fruits, and foliage and can create excellent accent points in the garden. Larger trees provide not only shade but also structure and feeling of permanence to landscapes.

Ideal Conditions
Consider the ultimate space and light requirements of your woody plant. Few thrive in heavy soils, and overcrowding reduces air circulation, encouraging disease problems.

Soil Preparation
Thorough soil preparation prior to planting is essential, as your specimen is likely to occupy the selected location for many years. Deep cultivation of the soil (2-3') and breaking up the sub-soil should be followed by the incorporation of organic matter forming a loose-textured, organic, rich, well-drained soil. Most trees and shrubs prefer a slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.5) which makes more nutrients readily available. Prior to planting, our container-grown specimens should be well watered. Never plant a dry root ball.

Planting Tips
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate root ball. Gently loosen roots after removing from the container, spreading them outward in the hole. Plant with top of root ball level with soil surface. Fill the hole with prepared soil ensuring good contact with roots, finally gently firming the soil with your foot. Water thoroughly immediately after planting. Mulch after planting.

Stake young single-stemmed trees at planting. This prevents wind damage that may break young roots. Remove stakes after 2-3 years.

Cut back any damaged shoots at planting. For established specimens, prune out dead, diseased branches and branches that rub together. Cut out understock growth on budded or grafted specimens. Formative pruning to maintain a desired shape is best undertaken during the dormant season. Prune early spring flowering shrubs that flower on the previous season's wood shortly after they bloom (such as Deutzia). Prune later summer-blooming and fall-blooming shrubs that bloom on the current year's growth in early spring (such as woody Hibiscus). Fall-planted trees and shrubs should not be pruned until the following spring.

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Planting Information

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