Care and Planting

Proper Care of Nursery Stock

A. Know the contents of your order; be sure to have storage and supplies prior to arrival to handle the stock properly.

B. Since dehydration is one of the biggest factors influencing successful handling of bare-root material, it is important that you do not allow the roots to dry out at any time. Keep the nursery stock out of wind, sun and freezing temperatures.

  1. Store in cold storage if available, at 34-38°F, and maintain relative humidity at 90% or higher.
  2. If cold storage is not available, wet down and store plant material in a cool, moist protected area. Pack roots with moist straw, shredded paper or bark material. Roots may also be dipped in “Pikes Peak Root Gel” to ensure against any dehydration prior to planting.
  3. For a longer holding period, plants should be trenched or heeled into the soil. Open tied bundles and spread roots out into a trench. Make sure roots are covered and watered well. Eliminate air pockets in medium around roots.
Pikes Peak Care and Planting

Planting and Care After Planting

Be sure that your seedlings or transplants have been planted to a proper depth to ensure the roots are entirely covered and that the tree stands erect and firmly in the ground. A plant which is loose in the soil will not take root and will suffer dehydration.

As you “side dress” fertilize your trees after the first year of growth, be careful that none of the fertilizer touches the stem or foliage. Fertilize in late Winter or early Spring so the nutrients will be in the proper area and concentration during the plants' growth sprint.

Pruning and shearing are usually started after the second year for most evergreens. For evergreens, the leader must be trimmed back to eight to ten inches to ensure that the limb spacing is not too extreme to inhibit the tree from filling in. Maintain the tree in a pyramidal shape, being sure that the entire tree is sheared completely to the ground. Start shearing about mid-June, when the growth is soft, allowing for good after shearing bud formation.

Enjoy your work with trees – it is a very healthful and rewarding endeavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend Spring (March-May) and Fall (October & November), planting when the trees are dormant and the ground is not frozen.  

Early spring or late winter is usually best. Approximately end of February until mid-March. But you may also fertilize when planting in the spring with our Peak Pak fertilizer packs.

Pruning times vary for species and purpose. Generally for Christmas trees sheering between June 15th and July 15th is best.  

The rate of growth varies greatly with species and planting site. Local foresters and ag extension agents can usually give you growth rates for your area.  

This is the age of the tree. The first number indicates the number of years the seedling was in a seedbed. The second number indicates the number of years in a transplant bed. Add the 2 numbers together and that gives you the age of the tree. Therefore, a 2-0 is a 2 yr. seedling and a 2-2 is a 4 yr. transplant. 

potted spruce tree plant

It's all in how we grow.