The Q&A Archives: planting in the summer

Question: I purchased 14 prunus x cistena (purple leaf sand cherry) from Home Depot over the weekend. Despite weather reports for cooler summer days, the afternoon sun beat down on my new plantings. I followed instructions to a tee and backfilled with %50 Miracle Grow Sphagnum peat moss and %50 eko claybuster/soil ammend. The next day the leaves whilted and some have dried out. I water twice a day. help

Answer: Sometimes I wonder about those weather people! It is normal for newly installed trees and shrubs to go through a little transplant shock - in this case, a lot of transplant shock. Not only are the roots trying to become established, the tops have to contend with scorching heat. With time, your sand cherries will recover. The best thing to do now is to watered them deeply twice a week (not twice a day). You want to encourage deep roots so they will anchor themselves well in the soil and reach deeply for water. The best way to do this is to build a watering basin beneath each plant by mounding up a few inches of soil all around the tree, about 12 inches out from the trunk. Fill the basin with water, allow it to drain, and then fill it a second time. This will concentrate the moisture directly over the root mass and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root system. Just give your new sand cherries a few weeks to re-establish their roots and they should be fine. Best wishes with your landscape.

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