Remove the tight nursery stake. Stake the tree only if necessary. Install two lodgepole stakes by pounding them into the soil 6 - 12" away from the trunk on the east and west sides of the tree. Tie the tree to the stakes with a figure-8 tie at a point which supports the top. Tie it tight enough that it is held upright, but loose enough that the tree still moves in the wind.
Fruit trees and others with dark bark should have their trunks painted with an interior white latex paint, up to the first branches.
Followup watering is crucial!
Check the tree daily for water in hot weather.
Remember that for the first 2 - 3 weeks the roots are still just in the nursery soil that the tree came in.
Water that soil every 2 - 3 days, making sure you water long enough to moisten the surrounding soil so the roots will grow out. This takes a few minutes with a hose, or an hour or so with a drip system (make sure the emitters are directly on the nursery soil).
An automatic watering system with spray heads probably won't water deeply enough to wet the whole root ball, so you need to water by hand.
After about 3 weeks you can water longer and cut back to twice a week.
After 5 - 6 weeks you can water even longer, about every 5 - 7 days. By the second year a good soaking once a week should be sufficient.
© 2008 Don Shor, Redwood Barn Nursery, Inc., 1607 Fifth Street, Davis, Ca 95616
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