Planting & Care Tips

For Trees

Plant bare root trees during the dormant season, either in early spring or late fall (November through April). Dig the hole twice as wide as the roots so the soil is well-drained. Position the tree so the root flare is at or just above ground level. Fill the hole back with the soil you dug from and water. Maintain soil moisture, especially in the tree's early years, by providing deep, regular watering. Apply a 2-4 inch mulch away from the trunk at the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Prune trees during the first few seasons to establish strength and resilience, remove damaged branches, and continue maintenance pruning as the tree matures. Regularly inspect for pests and diseases and apply integrated pest management practices. Protect young trees from mechanical damage and extreme temperatures with tree guards, and stake them if necessary for support, removing the stakes after one or two years.

For Shrubs

Plant bare-root shrubs during the more excellent spring or fall months, from November through April. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root system and slightly more profound than its height. Position the shrub so that the top of the roots is level with the ground, and put back the soil dug over the roots. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds, making sure the mulch does not touch the shrub's stem. Water regularly, especially during the first year, to establish strong roots. Prune shrubs as needed to promote healthy growth. In the spring, fertilize with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer suited to the specific needs of the shrub.

For Perennials & Vines (groundcovers)

Planting bare-root perennials is best in any season if they are dormant; we only sell dormant plants. When your bare-root perennials arrive, soak the roots in water for a few hours to rehydrate them. Lant by digging a hole wide enough to spread the roots comfortably and deep enough to place the top portion crown (where the roots meet the stem) at or slightly above ground level. Position the plant in the hole, backfill with native soil, and gently firm the soil around the roots—water well after planting to settle the soil around the plant and eliminate air. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to keep weeds at bay and moisture locked in, keeping the mulch away from the crown. Irrigate plants regularly during the first few weeks or drought; never water in full sun, and water late in the evenings to ensure the roots are established well. Fertilize sparingly in the first year, using a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in subsequent years as needed. 

For Ferns

To plant healthy bare-root ferns, choose early spring or fall when the soil is moist and temperatures are cool. You can also use dormant plants to grow year-round. Upon arrival, soak the roots in water for several hours to rehydrate them. Ferns thrive in moist and shaded areas. Dig a hole wide and deep enough to spread out the roots comfortably. Position the fern so the crown (where the roots meet the fronds) is just at or slightly below ground level. Gently backfill with soil firmly around the roots, and thoroughly water to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch for weed control and to retain moisture making sure the mulch does not touch the crown. Water during dry periods, to keep soil moist but not soggy. Avoid fertilizing in the first year, as ferns prefer nutrient-rich soil over direct fertilization.

Live Stakes

Remember to plant live stakes in early spring or late fall in moist, well-drained soil, preferably along stream banks or erosion-prone areas. Insert at a 45-degree angle in the the ground, making sure at least two-thirds of their length is buried, with the buds facing upward. Space the stakes approximately 2-3 feet apart for proper growth. After planting, water them thoroughly and maintain consistent moisture, especially during dry periods, to help root development. With proper care and sound conditions, live stakes will root successfully in 6-8 weeks and assist in soil stabilization and habitat restoration.


Moss thrives in shaded and moist areas with acidic soil. To prepare the site, clear away any debris and weeds and lightly roughen the soil surface. If planting on rocks or logs, clean the surface thoroughly. To plant, gently press the moss fragments onto the prepared surface to ensure good contact. After planting, mist the moss thoroughly with water and keep it consistently moist, especially during the establishment period. Avoid foot traffic on newly planted moss to prevent damage. Regularly mist the moss to maintain moisture, especially in dry weather, and remove any debris that may fall on it. Fertilization is generally unnecessary, as moss gets its nutrients from the air and rain. With proper care, live moss will establish and spread, creating a lush green carpet in your garden.


Plant seedlings in early spring or fall when temperatures are mild. Choose a well-drained site with the proper sunlight for the tree species. Dig a hole that's deep and wide enough to support but not hamper the root system without bending or crowding the roots. Place the seedling in the hole, making sure the root collar (where the roots meet the stem) is level with or slightly above the soil surface. Fill the hole with soil, and pack it around the roots to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly after planting and keep the moisture consistent, especially during the first few years, to help the roots establish. Put a 2-4 inch layer of mulch around the base, but keep it away from the trunk to retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Protect the seedlings from pests and physical damage with suitable guards or fencing. With proper care, tree seedlings will thrive and grow into strong, healthy trees.

Fruit Trees

Plant fruit trees in early spring or late fall when the weather is cool. Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots as well as double as deep as the root system. When tree is put in the hole, make sure the graft union (a noticeable bump where the tree was grafted above the rootstock) is above the soil line. Put dug out soil around the tree roots, gently firmly remove air pockets and water thoroughly.

Water young trees regularly, especially during dry spells, to establish a robust root system. Once established, water deeply and less frequently. Prune fruit trees every year during the dormant season to remove dead or diseased wood, improve air circulation, and shape the tree for optimal fruit production. Fertilize in early spring and thin the fruit when necessary to prevent overbearing, which can stress the tree and reduce fruit quality. Protect fruit from birds and other animals with netting or other deterrents.