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Select a healthy tree or shrub

The selection and planting of trees and shrubs requires certain precautions.
Photo: Espace pour la vie (Claude Lafond)
Young oak tree and pile of soil.

You have identified the type of tree or shrub you need and determined the ideal time to plant it. You are now ready to go to the nursery. Once there, keep in mind the following for choosing and transporting your tree or shrub home, where you may store it.

How to choose your tree or shrub

The main criteria to observe at the nursery is the health of the plant. To make sure that the tree or shrub you choose is healthy:

  • Carefully examine the foliage for insects or diseases.
  • Check the branches and the trunk as well, to make sure that there are no injuries.
  • Take a look at how the branches are arranged and make sure they are firmly attached. If choosing a shrub, check its shape. If buying a tree, if possible choose one that has already had formative pruning.
  • Check the roots if possible. If they are white, it means they are healthy. If there are lots of them, but they are not overly coiled around themselves (root bound), the plant will root more easily in its new site.
  • Make sure that plants growing in containers are not actually bare root just recently transferred to the containers.

Care advice until planting

  • When bringing your plant home, be sure to protect it from drying out.
  • Be careful not to break or damage the trunk or branches in any way.
  • Although you may store your tree or shrub, it is recommended to plant it as quickly as possible. This will in order to prevent the roots and rootlets from drying out.
  • If you are not planting immediately your tree or shrub, place it in a damp spot out of the sun and wind.
  • Be careful to cover the roots well and keep the soil damp.

Notice the step of planting your tree or shrub is different depending on whether you’re planting a balled and burlapped, bare root or container grown tree or shrub.


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