Marshall Tree Farm

Shoot pruning and back filling

The following was distributed at the 1995 Menninger Sunbelt Tree Conference By Roy A. Mecklenburg

Shoot Pruning

  • In most instances pruning at transplanting is not necessary to balance the root and shoot system. Prune only broken, dead or diseased branches at this time.
  • Carbohydrates needed for growth during establishment is stored in the shoots.
  • Structural defects in the tree can be eliminated by pruning at this time if there is no opportunity to do it after the tree will become established.

Back Filling

  • There should be adequate drainage in the bottom of the planting hole. All clay layers should be removed. We frequently find clay construction roads under our planting sites which will cause a perched water table and excessive soil water.
  • There is no benefit to amending the backfill soil used in transplanting trees. The native top soil in the area should be used in backfilling the planting hole.
  • The backfill soil should be watered in with a jet water stake to insure that all air pockets are filled with soil.

Reference: Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes by Edward F. Gilman. Delmar Publishers, 3 Columbia Circle, Box 15015, Albany, New York. 23323-5015. or 800-347-7707.