Tips to get your new seedlings through the Summer


Planting seedlings and raising them to become trees can be a very rewarding experience. Seasoned tree planters will tell you getting them through the heat and drought of their first summer is the biggest obstacle. Following are some tips for first summer success.


First and foremost, put tree protectors, A.K.A tree tubes, around each and every seedling on planting day. They accelerate growth and protect your plants from deer and other plant destroying critters. Don’t plant a tree without them.

Weed control

Aggressive weeds, including grasses, will rob your seedlings of necessary moisture and nutrients. You can provide mechanical control with a hoe or weedeater, or chemical control with a contact herbicide such as glyphosate. No matter your choice, keep at least a 3 foot radius weed free around your prized plants during the growing season.


Mulch shades the ground around your precious seedling, keeping the soil cool. It also suppresses thirsty weeds and traps moisture that would otherwise evaporate. Natural mulches such as bark, straw, or leaves work well and break down into soil-building organic matter are a great choice. In extremely droughty areas, fabric and plastic weed mats work exceptionally well to trap and hold moisture around the roots.


Like humans, plants need a quality food source to stay healthy and reach their full potential. Proper fertilization encourages a strong root system that is much more capable of utilizing available soil moisture than a stressed out, underfed root system. Consider using manure based organic, or low-salt chemical fertilizers instead of traditional chemical fertilizers. Follow the instructions on the bag- and yes, it’s ok to fertilize a tree its first year.

Flowering and mast producing trees are an integral part of quality habitat, but getting them established can be a daunting task for the beginning grower. Following the prior steps to success with save you a ton of heartache and make you look like an old pro.


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  • Posted on by Ernest Murphy

    I live in Texas and ants love my tree tubes! We I see their mounds around my tubes I spread granular bait to kill them. Is this safe for my little trees or do you have any other suggestions?

  • Posted on by Jim

    Good afternoon.

    What’s your opinion on using used coffee grounds and pulverized chicken egg shells as fertilizer for mast and fruit producing trees?

  • Posted on by Trace

    I would like to order but I can only visit my property about once a month. So I wont be able to water them. Is there a way to make some kind of drip watering system that may help or should I wait til this fall?

  • Posted on by John

    Is it better to plant the seedlings in fall ? If so what size pot or bag do you suggest keeping the in ? Delaware county NY

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