Typically the best time of year to plant new landscape stock is in the fall, with proper planting and site selection, nourishment, watering and care; overwintering dormancy can be beneficial for root and shoot growth in the next growing season. Nursery stock may experience transplant shock due to root loss from being dug up at the nursery or root bound in containers. Select trees that are properly root pruned in the nursery or have been graduated to the proper container size to prevent being root bound. These condition will make trees and plants susceptible to drought, pests, disease and other stress-related problems. Transplant shock may persist until functional balance of root to shoot growth is overcome, in other words the root system must be restored and regenerated in order to support crown growth. Chances for survival can be dramatically increased through cultural practices benefiting root establishment, which must continue for the first three years of establishment and growth.
The successful establishment of newly planted trees and shrubs relies on rapid root regeneration, and the root system is most likely severely water deprived at the time of planting. Levels of soil moisture will be critical during the first three years after planting. Carbohydrates crucial to root generation will be adequately supplied if a strict watering regime is maintained allowing for faster root growth. A basic rule of thumb indicates one inch of water per week be applied throughout the growing season, but monitoring soil conditions and weather and watering as-needed is recommended. Water early in the morning or in the evening two to three times per week for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how much rain your region has received. Watering needs will vary depending on region, species, size of planting and season so discuss new plantings with your arborist. They can advise more specifically on planting placement, species selection, fertilization and watering requirements for your new nursery stock.