Planting Trees & Shrubs in the Brazos Valley


Buying a tree is one of the biggest investments you will make in your landscape. The following information will guide you when you are ready to plant your tree.

Containerized Planting

We recommend the following procedure:

Dig hole large enough to leave an eight to ten inch clearance around sides of root ball of the tree to be planted. Place 2 to 3 handfuls of gypsum at the base of the hole. Leave the top of the root area two to three inches above ground level. Fill back around the ball with the original soil to within six or eight inches of ground level.

Now, apply fertilizer tablets to this area. Chop or break up soil as much as possible. Fill back and water to settle soil. Mix topsoil and existing soil at a 1 to 1 ratio and fill the remainder of hole. The mixture should cover the entire top of ball and out to at least two or three feet from trunk of tree (refer to diagram).

Water well. Use Ferti-lome Root Stimulator at the time of planting and repeat every 1 to 2 weeks for 6 to 8 weeks.

General Tree Care

To conserve moisture and prevent weed growth, mulch the newly planted area with two inches of pine bark mulch. Saturate when watering to be sure that water soaks deep into the soil. Reduce the frequency of sprinkling, which causes plant roots to grow too near the surface, thus weakening the tree. Trees should be fertilized twice a year: in early fall and again in the spring. Do not fertilize newly planted plants for 4 to 6 months.

Feed fruit trees with a pecan and fruit tree fertilizer. Other trees should be fed with Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Fertilizer. Always apply fertilizer as directed. Remember, too much fertilizer is more harmful than too little or even none at all.

Look for insect or fungus problems in your trees: quick action is the key to success. Ask one of our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals for current recommendations.

Be sure to ask about our Jack & the Beanstalk Live Oak Fertilization Program.

Staking Trees

Normally, small trees do not need to be staked. Larger trees, however, should be staked for support, An easy way to do this is with wired passed through a short length of water hose to be wrapped around the tree trunk and tied loosely. Run the wire in a 45 degree angle to a wooden stake or metal Duckbill driven in the soil. There should be three stakes at opposing angles from the tree to protect the tree from shaking winds that will disturb the root system. These stakes should remain on the tree for a full growing season, after which they can then be removed. Trees should retain a single stake for 1 to 3 years, depending on the size at planting.


When buying your ornamental shrubs, consider the location and the amount of sun or shade the plants will receive. Also ask yourself if they should be tall or low growing. If the drainage is sluggish, you will either have to correct it or choose plants that tolerate moist areas.

Planting Shrubs

When planting in prepared or raised beds, make the planting hole just deep enough to allow the top of the root ball to be at ground level (refer to shrub planting diagram 1). The width of hole is not terribly important when planting in good loose soil. Replace soil around the root ball and water well to force out air pockets and to settle new soil firmly. Level out surplus soil.

In unprepared beds or with pit planting, make the planting hole one foot larger in diameter than the diameter of the root ball. Leave the top of ball about two inches above normal ground level (refer to shrub diagram 2). Fill around the ball with original soil. Chop or break up soil as much as possible. Water in to settle soil.

Mix one half top soil mix with original soil and mound around exposed ball. Avoid planting shrubs in low, wet, or slow draining areas. Use Ferti-lome Root Stimulator when watering in. Repeat at 1 to 2 week intervals for 6 to 8 weeks. Following this procedure will hasten new root growth of the transplanted plants.

Shrub Care

Shrubs require more frequent irrigation than trees generally once a week in cool weather and every other day or so in hot weather, especially during times of drought. Non-blooming shrubs should be fed in the spring and late fall with Ferti-lome Tree and Shrub Fertilizer. Blooming shrubs, depending on their variety, have specific feeding times and need specific fertilizers. Ask one of our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals which one is best for your selection. Pruning is also variety specific, so again, ask for our recommendation.

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