Success with Shade Trees

Are you considering adding a shade tree to your landscape? The benefits of trees are innumerable and include oxygen production, pollution filtering, soil stabilizing, and environmental noise reduction to name a few. Shade trees, in particular, will increase the value of your property while enhancing the beauty of your surroundings.

Did you know that Fall is the best time of year to add a new tree to your landscape? Autumn planting will allow a tree time to acclimate to its new environment and establish fresh roots at a time of year when the soil temperature is still warm and soil moisture is consistent, long before the heat and drought of summer sets in again. We are here to let you know that successful shade tree planting is easier than you think.



  • The Arbor Day Foundation has compiled a list of the Top 10 Shade Trees that will help you begin your search for the perfect one. These are not the only shade trees available, however, and, of the trees listed, some may be more suitable to your location than others. Select an appropriate shade tree with the help of your local Master Nursery® Garden Center. Their educated and experienced staff will guide you in choosing the perfect shade tree that will perform well in your area, that will not outgrow its allotted space, and will provide you with the aesthetics that you desire.
  • Be aware that bigger is not better. Whether containerized or balled and burlapped, makes sure that the tree you select is a manageable size to handle. Research shows that, with all else being equal, a smaller sized newly planted tree grows more quickly than a newly planted large one. The two will almost eventually even out.
  • You should also know that it is best to plant as soon as possible after purchasing to minimize stress to the tree. If planting must be delayed, keep the root ball moist until planting time. Remember to never pull, carry, or move a tree by its trunk. This will cause damage to the root system.


  • Soil preparation is arguably the most important yet easiest aspect of proper tree planting and will guarantee the health and longevity of your shade tree. When soil is amended correctly with Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region], water drainage is increased while soil nutrition and suitable water holding capacity is greatly improved.
  • Dig your planting hole twice as wide but no deeper than the plant’s root ball or container. Mix Master Nursery® Bumper Crop®Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region] into the excavated soil, creating a 70/30 soil/Bumper Crop blend.
  • Mix the recommended amount of Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Starter Food into the excavated soil mixture. This non-burning, organic fertilizer with mycorrhiza will help the plant develop long, strong roots to ensure good health over the life span of the tree.
  • If containerized, gently and carefully remove your tree by squeezing the pot, all around, allowing the plant to easily slide out of it. If the tree is root bound and difficult to remove, you may cut the container away with pruning shears before centering it in the planting hole. Be sure to loosen the roots of a pot bound plant so that they do not continue to grow in a circular fashion which will eventually lead to root strangulation.
  • If the plant is balled and burlapped, place and center it in the planting hole then cut and remove all twine from the root ball and trunk. Burlap may be left in the hole, however, it should be loosened and pulled away from the tree trunk and tucked below the soil surface to decompose naturally over time. Placing some of the 70/30 soil mixture in the hole will help stabilize your plant while you adjust its position to your liking.


  • After positioning your new tree, backfill the hole entirely with the reserved 70/30 soil/Bumper Crop mixture, gently firming as you do until the soil is level with the surrounding ground. With the excess soil, create a ring around the edge of the planting hole to act as a saucer that will help prevent water run-off when watering.


  • Water the planting area thoroughly with a slow soaking drip. Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch around your new shade tree,keeping it about 3 inches away from the trunk to prevent rot. The addition of mulch will aid in conserving soil moisture.
  • For at least the first several months after planting, continue to keep the planting area of your new shade tree moist but not wet by using a slow drip or soaker hose. Do not allow your tree to experience drought within the first year after planting. If Mother Nature does not provide adequate rainfall each week during the first year, you will have to supplement water during this critical time when the tree is developing new roots.

A shade tree will bring you years of beauty and enjoyment while adding value to your home.  These simple instructions, along with the inclusion of Master Nursery Bumper Crop Products and the expert advice from your Master Nursery® Garden Center, will ensure your success in the planting, health, and longevity of your shade tree.

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Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Organic Soil Builder
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Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder
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Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Starter Food
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