Sneade’s Dogwood Seedling Care Sheet



How to properly plant bare-root tree and shrub seedlings:

When planting a bare-root seedling, please keep in mind the following:

1.) Even though the tree is not growing, it is very fragile!

2.) The plants are very sensitive to temperature—the lower the better!

3.) The plants are sensitive to prolonged periods of excessive or deprived moisture–avoid both.

4.) One study has shown that plants left in the sun on a 85 degree, windy day for just two minutes(!)–without protection on their roots–resulted in a 95% mortality!


Knowing this–do the following for the best results:

Caring for your plants upon arrival:


1.) Upon receiving your plants–if they are not packaged with a moist medium, like sphagnum moss or wet newspaper–get some moisture carrying medium and immediately surround the roots with this product.

2.) Keep the tops dry and exposed to the air.

3.) Keep the plants in a shaded, cool place–garage or basement perhaps?

4.) If you are not going to be able to plant within the next 48 hours, then place the entire plant(s) in a plastic bag and make room in your refrigerator for them.  Within a closed bag, they can last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.


Day of Planting instructions:


1.) Place the plants in a half filled 5 gallon bucket of water.  They can stay here for up to 6-8 hours, if necessary. This will prepare the plants for out-planting by re-hydrating their roots.

2.) Decide where your plants need to be planted.  Mark the spots with a flag, stick or whatever you have.

3.) Dig all the holes.  Generally, make them 8-12″ wide and 8-12″ deep, depending on the size of your plants.

4.) Proceed to the first hole with the plants, and take only one plant out.  Determine where the root collar is on the plant.  This is the area of the plant stem where the roots differentiate from the above-ground (bark) part of the plant.  Usually, you will see either a little collar on the stem or you may see a difference in color between the root and the shoot, or you may note a change in texture.

5.) Place the plant in the hole to the depth of the root collar.  Fill hole with the removed dirt.  Note: The plant should not be out of the water more than 30 seconds from when its planted!  So, remove only one plant at a time.

6.) Note: If your soil is sod like or clumpy–break it apart to make it easier for root penetration.  Secondly, if you have a very hard clay soil, add some sand and or peat to the existing soil to make it easier for the roots to penetrate.  Third, if your soil is very sandy, add some peat to the sand to increase the water holding capacity of the soil around the roots.

7.) Tamp the soil down around the roots–but not excessively.

8.) Water in the plants.

9.) Take some hardwood bark or some equivalent and apply in the form of a pie to about a 6-8″ radius from the plant stem.  Make it about 2-3″ deep.  This will keep your weeds down, keep moisture in the root zone, keep the soil temperature down and keep the plants from heaving in an open winter.  This will also help you mark your plants to protect them from lawn mowers and to monitor their growth.

10.) Plants should receive regular water, so if it doesn’t rain–a quart of water per plant every 3rd or 4th day for the first several weeks after planting should be sufficient.

11.) If you choose to fertilize the first year–then use a 19-19-19 mix or something high in Potassium (the last number of the formula).  They don’t need a lot of Nitrogen (the first number) in the first year since the strategic goal of the first year is to establish the plant–not to push its growth.  If you have automatic irrigation, the fertilization can be done on a normal schedule.  You don’t need a lot of fertilizer in any case–just a couple tablespoons per plant is enough–spread over the entire area of the bark.






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