trees planting image When you get
your order:
Immediate Care

Woody Plants

When your new trees and shrubs arrive, plant them as soon as possible. If you can dig a shovel into the ground, plant your trees. Don’t be deterred by snow.


Planting Within 48 Hours

Leave the plastic wrapping around the root ball. Add some water to remoisten the packing material and store your trees and shrubs in a cool shaded place like a shed, barn or cellar. Do not allow roots to stand in water. Avoid heat and sunlight.

Can’t Plant Immediately?

You can keep trees and shrubs for a week or two by following one of these temporary measures and continuing to water as needed.

  • Open your package and inspect for damage. Fold the plastic back from around the tops. Keep the wet shredded newspaper around the roots and re–wrap the plastic around the root ball, packing firmly to eliminate air pockets. Water as needed to keep the roots moist, but don’t let them stand in water. Keep the trees in a cool shaded or dark place like a shed, barn, cellar or garage but don’t allow the plants to freeze. Avoid heat and sunlight.
  • “Heel in” your plants temporarily in a protected cool, shady spot. Dig a trench or turn back an appropriate amount of earth and bury the roots; tamp firmly to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly. Plant them in their intended location as soon as possible.

Frozen Ground?

Sometimes frozen ground makes immediate planting impossible. If your ground is frozen, your trees will be fine for now if you keep them bundled together in a cool (but not freezing) location and keep the roots covered and damp.

Store your plants, following the directions for the first temporary measure, above. Plant them as soon as the ground has thawed.

Plants leafing out?

Some plants may have broken dormancy and begun to leaf out. These plants will do fine with some care to slowly introduce them to the sun.
  • If several days of cloudy or rainy weather are imminent, plant immediately. No further precautions are needed.
  • If the weather will be sunny, keep the roots wrapped and damp, and set the plants in partial shade for a few days to harden off. Plant when the new growth looks green and strong. The early leaves may get sunscald but the plants will send out new leaves and look normal within a few months.

Caring for other Plants


Open up asparagus roots and store dry and uncovered in a cool shaded place. Plant when you receive your order or as soon as the ground can be worked.


Refrigerate slightly moistened rhizomes in a plastic bag until planting.


Open the packaging slightly to allow the plants to breathe. They should be fine left in their packaging and kept in a cool place (ideally 35–50°). They want to stay moist but not wet.

Mushroom Spawn

Refrigerate or store in a cool place until ready to plant, except for Almond Agaricus, which should be kept cool but not refrigerated.


Open the packaging slightly to allow the plants to breathe. They should be fine left in their packaging and kept in a cool place (ideally 35–50°). They want to stay moist but not wet.


Keep cold or refrigerate between arrival and planting. We ship with roots slightly on the dry side. If you cannot plant them for a while, uncover the roots, mist them with water and re–cover, leaving tops exposed. Place bundle in paper bag and store on the bottom shelf of your fridge. Don’t be alarmed if the tops become brown or mushy: they will generate new leaves.

Perennial Plants

Open the bags and check the stock immediately. If you cannot pot the crowns up immediately, store them in a cool (35–40°) location for a short time. Roots and crowns should be firm and pliable, not soft or brittle. If they are slightly dry, add a little water, or, if they are going to be potted up soon, wet the roots. Generally, a little surface mold is harmless and will not affect the plant’s future performance.

Pot up crowns and roots in deep 6" pot or 1–gallon container, using in well–drained potting mix. Avoid coiling the roots in the bottom of under–sized containers. Do not plant directly outdoors. Click here for more details.

Sweating Nursery Stock

Some trees and shrubs become extremely dormant during refrigerated storage. These include: Amelanchier (juneberry), Betula (birch), Cercis (redbud), Crataegus (hawthorn) and Quercus (oak).

Sweating nursery stock ensures breaking of dormancy. Most of the time you can skip this process because the plants will begin to wake up while they’re in transit to you. If they don’t, then follow these instructions:

The easiest way to force any tree to break bud is to pot it and set it in a greenhouse or polyhouse. After the tree begins to leaf out, transplant it outdoors. If you don’t have a greenhouse, lay the trees in a shady place, 45–70°, such as a garage, basement, barn, greenhouse or outdoors in the shade. Cover the whole plant with very damp packing material (hay, newspaper, etc.) followed by a sheet of plastic. Sweating will take several days; check the buds every day. The trees are ready to plant when the buds begin to swell.