The Q&A Archives: Planting a new tree

Question: I recently bought a 20

Answer: You do not want it to grow while it is indoors, you want to minimize the temperature difference for when you can plant it outside, and you want to plant it outside as soon as you can. If it is bare root or in a container but still dormant, you will need to keep the roots slightly damp and the plant must be stored cool so it stays dormant. Cool in this case means about 40 degrees. It should not be allowed to freeze as this could damage the roots. If it has begun to leaf out but is bare root, you need to put it in a container with some soilless potting mix (sold for container plants, usually based on peat moss or bark plus perlite or vermiculite), keep the mix barely damp, and again, keep it very cool. If it has already leafed out, you will have to give it as much light as possible and a cool temperature of about 40 to 45 degrees would be good in this case also; water as needed to keep the soil moist but not saturated. Once the weather has settled (no more frosts if it has leafed out, or the ground is no longer frozen if it is still dormant) and the soil can be dug, plant it and mulch. Keep the soil evenly moist while it becomes established. Your pussy willow will do best in a location with full sun and good air circulation and soil that is naturally damp to wet (in a low spot or beside a stream for example) but it will also tolerate average moisture levels. Try not to plant it in a spot that tends to be extra dry. Good luck!

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