While Still in the One-Gallon Container
When your sapling arrives, carefully remove it from the cardboard box and place the sapling in an area that gets at least 6 hours of direct sun (4 hours during the summer). *Keep the sapling in the one-gallon pot until you are ready to plant it in the ground. Water it thoroughly the first day and whenever the soil begins to look dry – at least every other day until you are ready to plant the sapling in the ground.
Choosing the Right Location to Plant your Sapling
Find a spot in your yard that gets full sun at least 6 hours per day. Also be mindful that, when mature, the sapling can reach up to 50 feet in height with a canopy of over 75 square feet. So be careful not to plant it close to other trees, power lines or buildings. Also, remember that it will need to be watered frequently, so easy access to a water source will make the job easier.
Ready to Plant
Dig an 8-inch-wide test-hole that is 18 – 24 inches deep. Fill the hole with water, and make sure that it drains within an hour. If it drains, then this a suitable location to plant the tree. If not, find another area in your and dig another test hole. Once you determine the correct location, dig a different hole that is about 6 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Turn the tree upside down and carefully remove it from the one gallon container. Place it in the hole, soil side down, and make sure the hole is not too deep. You want the level of dirt around the hole to be the same as the dirt that was in the container. Then fill in the sides around the hole with the same soil that you dug up – do not add potting soil, compost or any other materials at this time.
When to Plant
The sapling can be planted in winter, spring or fall, but avoid planting in the summer. If your sapling arrives in the summer, keep it in the one-gallon container, and place the container in a location that gets at least 4 hours of full sun. Once summer is over, plant the sapling when temperatures drop to an average daytime high under 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once planted in the ground, the tree will need be watered thoroughly daily for the first 2-3 weeks. Then try to water 2-3 times per week, or whenever the soil around the base of the tree is dry. In general, sandy soils will require more frequent watering than soils that have more clay.
Controlling Weeds and Grass
At the time of planting, remove all vegetation within 2 feet of the tree and try to keep it that way for the first year. Mulch can be placed in a circle around the tree, but be careful not to pile the mulch at the base of the tree. The mulch should be thicker (3-4 inches) around the edges of circle and very thin in the middle (less than one inch). This will help keep vegetation from entering into the circle and will also help to form a bowl to hold the water in near the base of the tree for better penetration to the roots.
Do not fertilize the tree until new growth appears on the end of the branches. Once this happens, you can fertilize in the spring with ½ cup of granular slow release fertilizer (for trees/shrubs) spread around the base of the tree.
HOW TO PLANT YOUR SAPLING
Choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Dig a hole the same size as the sapling container.
Place at the same level as the surrounding ground.
Water daily for 2-3 weeks, then whenever soil is dry.