ISLE OF SKY -- Tree Planting Instructions

Start Right -- Plant for Success

 

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Whether planting in containers or in the ground,
select a location that allows for the best possible care and protection of your trees. 

Remember that dwarf trees only grow to the size of a large bush. 
Therefore, they may be planted in very small spaces, close together
and often espaliered against wooden fences or trellises.

 

ASSEMBLE SOIL AMENDMENTS 
Cutting corners at this point will bring you less than optimum results.... 

 

EACH tree will require approximately 3 bags of potting soil if planted in a container
OR half a bag of potting soil to mix with backfill if planted in the ground.

I use and recommend either Garden Time Square Foot Gardening Potting Soil Mix or
Nursery Canning Mix.  Both are made by Gro-Well/Western Organics and
are available at Isle of Sky Nursery.

 

In addition to the potting soil,
each tree will need the following "grow mix" of soil amendments: 

    3 cups of Terra Pro and 1 cup of Protein Crumblies,
along with half a cup of Azomite (for container plants only).

 

Below are details and then pictures that go along with the directions for planting.

 

FOR IN-GROUND PLANTING


Prepare a wide, bowl-shaped hole two feet wider than the container and 10 inches deeper than the container.  Remove all rocks and break up hard clumps from the pile of soil removed from the hole.   Add half a bag of potting soil to this soil and mix well.  Add 2 cups of Grow Mix and mix well.    Replace enough soil in the hole mounded in the center so the tree will be level with the surface of the ground when finished.  This is important as the graft union must stay above the soil level.

Remove the stake from the tree and carefully remove the tree from the container, handling below the graft union and supporting the root ball.  It is helpful to loosen the roots in the container by whacking a shovel against the container firmly a few times.

Support the tree while backfilling the hole.  Sprinkle the remaining Grow Mix around the surface of the root system and massage well into the soil. 
Do NOT tamp down the soil around the tree!  Create a low berm around the tree at least as wide as the tree is tall with a minimum of four feet.  Flood with water around the tree to settle the soil.  Add more soil if necessary.

Mulch the entire tree well area with rotted pine mulch at a depth of 3 or more inches deep.  Newly planted trees and shrubs benefit greatly by a feeding of liquid kelp fertilizer available in the Nursery.

Either tie tree branches to a wooden fence, framework or stake added by the tree trunk using flexible garden tape or soft cloth strips.

 

Watering with a small sprinkler set very low under the canopy of the tree is best as tree roots will expand beyond the branch spread as the tree grows.  Do not allow the soil to dry out under the mulch.  The critical microbial life of the soil is close to the surface.  Also, do NOT depend on drip irrigation to water trees.  It will not create a wide enough wet spot to grow a healthy root system and satisfactory tree unless the emitters encircle the tree in a widening spiral from the trunk to beyond the farthest branches.

Do NOT prune dwarf apple trees.  If needed, use small branch spreaders to create good crotch angles and branch direction to shape the tree's growth.

Dwarf trees will begin to bear at a very young age.  Though it is hard to do, snip all fruit off the tree the first year after blooms have set.  The tree will benefit from a year's growth without a fruit load.  These small trees are overachievers and must have their overabundance of fruit thinned when they are the size of peas.

Any suckers that grow below the graft union should be removed.

Please remember winter care is important for successful fruiting.  Don't forget to water your fruit trees.  Low sprinklers, which cover the extensive root zone out to the drip line of the branches, is still the preferred way for thorough watering.  Well decomposed pine bark or pine needle mulch out to the drip line is extremely beneficial.

Plan for the protection of your trees whether planted in the ground or in large containers.  If you have little space, consider espaliering trees against a wall or fence.  Protect your tree from dogs, cats, rabbits, mice, deer and other animals by using appropriate tree shelters, cages, and trunk protection.  Deer, rabbits and mice love to eat fruit wood, so DO plan accordingly when selecting and preparing your site.  The better you care for your tree, the better your apples will be.


PLEASE REMEMBER --
The graft union is the most fragile point of a young newly grafted  tree, but, as the tree ages, the graft union becomes the strongest part of the trunk.  Trees should NEVER be lifted or moved above that point -- always be very careful to handle the tree below the graft union and support the main trunk when transporting the tree from nursery container to new container.   It is helpful to have an assistant when transplanting your tree.

The next few pages will demonstrate these directions for
Container and then for In Ground planting.


Isle of Sky --
In Ground Planting Instructions

 

REMEMBER:  The graft union is the most fragile point of a young,
newly grafted tree; but as the tree ages,
the graft union becomes the strongest part of the trunk. 
Trees should never be lifted or moved above that point.

Always be VERY CAREFUL to handle the tree
below the graft union and support the main trunk
when transporting the tree from the nursery container to a new container. 
It is helpful to have an assistant when transplanting your tree.

 

Dig a wide bowl-shaped hole 2 feet wider and
10 inches deeper than the container. 
Break up soil in the bottom of the hole. 
Separate rocks, sticks and clods from the soil and
add 2 cups of Grow Mix and 1/2 bag of potting soil.
Replace enough amended soil in the hole so the tree
will be level with the ground when finished.
HANDLE THE TREE ON THE BOTTOM ONLY.
Strive to keep the root ball and roots as intact as
possible.    BE GENTLE!

 

   

 

Replace enough amended soil in the hole
so the tree will be level with the ground
when finished.

 

 

Whack the back of the shovel against the outside
of the container all around to loosen the roots
inside the container.

 

 

DO NOT handle the tree
above the Root Ball.
Gently remove the tree from
the container and support it.

 

 

Back fill with amended soil into the hole to
the original soil level with the ground.

Lightly work the remaining GROW MIX
into the surface around the base of the tree.
WATER thoroughly! 

 


                               
 Stake the tree securely at planting time or
tie it as an esplanier against a
wooden fence or support.
Cover the entire well with 3 to 4 inches
of rotted pine needles.
Note 3 to 4 inch earth berm rise on each side.

 

Isle of Sky -- Container Planting Instructions

 

REMEMBER:  The graft union is the most fragile point of a young,
newly grafted tree, but as the tree ages,
the graft union becomes the strongest part of the trunk. 
Trees should never be lifted or moved above that point.

Always be VERY CAREFUL to handle the tree
below the graft union and support the main trunk
when transporting the tree from the nursery container to a new container. 
It is helpful to have an assistant when transplanting your tree.

 

.

CONTAINER STEP 1

          TOP LAYER -- Weed Mat over drainage holes
               BOTTOM LAYER --- Drainage holes 
Select a large, sturdy container 20 gallons or larger
Drill 3/4" drainage holes and place spun poly
type weed mat over the holes.
Fill the container part way with good, organic potting
soil available at the Nursery.  Mix in 2 cups of Grow Mix.
 

   

 Whack the back of a shovel
against the outside of the container,
all around,
to loosen roots
inside the container.

 

 in ground  step 3a

 

DO NOT handle the tree
above the graft union.

in-ground 3b

The soil level in the container should be
enough to elevate the tree to the top
of the container.  Remember: 
the soil will settle over time
Gently remove the tree from the
container and support it so the
original soil level is level with the top
of the container.

CONTAINER STEP 3


 

 

Finish filling the remaining space with the potting mix, and
lightly work the remaining Grow Mix into the surface.
Stake the tree with one or two good wooden or
heavy bamboo stakes to support from the winds.
CONTAINER STEP 4

 

Water THOROUGHLY.   An additional watering can of water with liquid kelp,

available at the Nursery, is very beneficial.
Top dress with a 2" layer of partially rotted pine needles.

Note the rotted pine needle mulch is the top layer on the container, and
 the remaining Grow Mix is added to the bottom layer, per the arrows above.



 


REMEMBER:
EACH

TREE
REQUIRES THE
FOLLOWING
GROW MIX
FORMULA:

3 cups Terra Pro
1 cup Protein Crumblies
half cup Azomite
(for container
plant only)