Tree Kit Instructions

Unboxing and First Steps

Goal:

The goal at this stage is to safely unbox your tree and get it set up for success.

Unboxing:

  1. To ensure you're home and able to bring your tree indoors immediately after it arrives, please follow the tracking information online closely. In the hot sun, your tree can overheat quickly in its box.
  2. Carefully cut the packing tape at the top of the box using a razor or scissors. Be sure to keep the blade shallow to avoid damaging the tree.
  3. Gently remove the tree and its growing pod from the box, setting aside the tree guard, zip ties, and stakes in a safe place. You will not need them for a few weeks.
  4. Remove the tape and top cup from the growing pod. The top cup can be recycled.
  5. Loosely loop the tree tag around your tree to ensure it’s labeled correctly if you’ve ordered multiple trees.

Watering:

  1. Keep the burlap sack securely tied. There is no need to open it for watering.
  2. Fill the growing pod to the top of the burlap sack with room temperature water.
  3. Allow the water to sit for 2 minutes. Dump out the excess water by carefully tipping the growing pod upside down over the sink to drain any excess. The tree will remain secure.

Sunning:

  1. Place your tree in a safe, sunny indoor location where it can stay for the next few weeks.
  2. Refer to the "Care Until Planting" instructions below for detailed information on caring for your tree during the first few weeks.

Care Until Planting

Goal:

The objective is to nurture your tree in its protective growing pod until it reaches approximately 10 inches in height.

Watering (same as unboxing instructions):

  1. Thanks to the special biochar soil's ability to retain moisture, your tree needs watering only every few days.
  2. Fill the growing pod to the top of the burlap sack with room temperature water.
  3. Allow the water to sit for 2 minutes. Dump out the excess water by carefully tipping the growing pod upside down over the sink to drain any excess. The tree will remain secure.
  4. Adjust your watering frequency based on absorption; water less often if little water is absorbed, and slightly more if it absorbs quickly. Always drain any excess water.  Also be aware that water needs increase as temperatures increase.

Sunning:

  1. Keep your tree in a safe, sunny indoor spot for the next few weeks.
  2. When the tree is around 8 inches tall (height above the burlap sack), it’s ready for hardening.

Hardening:

  1. Ease new trees into full exposure to sun and wind by placing them on a covered porch, under a shade tree, or in a protected area outside for the day.
  2. Bring the trees in at night to protect them from frost and/or pests.
  3. Check the water levels daily because the sun and wind could be drying the trees out much faster.
  4. Hardening of the tree takes around 1 week.  After that, you are ready to plant the tree outside. (Refer to "Planting" instructions below)

Planting

Goal:

The objective is to safely transplant your tree into its final home.

Preparation:

  1. Your tree is ready for planting when it is approximately 10 inches tall and has been hardened outdoors for 1 week.
  2. Only plant when there is no more risk of frost for at least a month.
  3. Select the planting site carefully. Ensure the tree is at least 25 feet away from any buildings and has access to full sunlight and well-draining soil.
  4. Remove competing vegetation from the planting area so that planted trees have full access to available resources. A vegetation-free space about 2 feet in diameter is good for young trees.
  5. Dig a hole that is as deep as the burlap sack and twice as wide.
  6. Using a razor or scissors, carefully cut the bottom of the plastic growing pod to separate it and the tree from the rest of the growing pod. This is necessary as the burlap sack is glued to the pod.

Transplanting:

  1. With a razor or scissors, carefully cut off the bottom of the burlap sack. This prevents the plastic bottom of the growing pod from being buried and encourages root spread.
  2. Loosen the drawstring of the burlap sack and open it as much as possible.
  3. Position the tree, still in the burlap sack, in the center of the hole.
  4. Place the tree upright in the hole and pack soil around the burlap, ensuring there are no air pockets.
  5. Cover the roots with soil, burying the tree up to the top of the burlap sack.
  6. Wrap your tree tag identification band loosely around the trunk, roughly 1/3rd down from the top of the tree.  It will loop into itself.

Protecting and Watering:

  1. Immediately after planting, protect your tree with the provided tree guards.
  2. Prepare your materials: lay out zip ties, tree guards, and metal stakes.
  3. Form a tube by rolling one of the tree guards along its long edge. This will form a tube approximately 12 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter (short and fat, not tall and skinny).
  4. Secure the tube with three zip ties at the top, middle, and bottom.  Cut off the excess zip tie ends.
  5. Repeat the process for the second tube.
  6. Place the second tube over the first and secure it with three additional zip ties every 1/3rd of the way around.  Cut off the excess zip tie ends.
  7. Gently lower both sections of the tree guard over the tree, ensuring it is centered and leaves aren’t pinched.
  8. Secure the tall tube at the base with the metal stakes 180 degrees apart from each other.
  9. Water your tree with around 1 gallon of water.

Care After Planting

Goal:

The objective is to nurture your tree for the first years of its life.

Watering:

  • 1st month: water your tree twice a week with around 1 gallon of water.  (You can skip this step if you are getting equivalent rain.)
  • 2nd month: decrease watering frequency to once per week with 1 gallon of water.  (You can skip this step if you are getting equivalent rain.)
  • 3rd month: water your tree every other week with 1 gallon of water. (You can skip this step if you are getting equivalent rain.)
  • 4th month and beyond: only water your tree if you aren’t getting any rain.

Weeding:

  • Remove any competing weeds by hand until the tree is several feet tall.  Do not use any herbicides.

Fertilizing:

  • If leaves yellow or to encourage faster growth, the seedlings may need fertilizer. (We use a diluted general purpose fertilizer like Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food every other week.)

Unboxing & First Steps

Care Until Planting

Planting Instructions

Care After Planting