There’s nothing better than planting new trees in your yard. Whether to boost wildlife activity, add flair to your property, or produce fruit, you won’t regret adding multiple plants to your landscape. Ideally, you would plant your new trees within a day or so of receiving them. Time or the weather doesn’t always allow you to do so—you may need to know what to do if you can’t plant when your order arrives.

Bare-Root Plants

Bare-root plants come with their roots wrapped in a bag rather than planted in a pot; although a great option, they require immediate attention.

Keep Them Wrapped

If you can’t plant your bare-root tree immediately, keep it wrapped in the shipping paper or bag until you’re ready to put it in the ground. You may have to put a small hole in the wrapping to add water to the plant—the paper should stay damp.

Store in a Cool Place

Rather than leaving it outdoors, you should store the plant in a cool place, such as a shed, garage, basement, or cellar. The optimal temperature is 40 degrees, but anything under 60 degrees will be fine for a short period. This storage method will keep your tree dormant and give you about a week to plant it in the ground.

Heel in the Ground

If you must delay planting for more than 10 days, you should consider heeling in your trees outdoors. Dig a sloping trench big enough for the roots, lay the tree in the trench, cover the roots with soil, and soak them with water. Once you’re ready to plant in its permanent location, carefully remove the tree from the soil and place it upright in the ground.

Container Plants

Container plants arrive potted, and you should care for them like you would a houseplant until you can put them in their permanent spot outdoors.

Provide Water

When the soil appears and feels dry, you should add water to keep the tree’s roots damp and healthy. Don’t overwater, as you don’t want your tree to float in the container.

Acclimate to Cold Weather Before Planting

Because trees are prone to transplant shock after planting, you should consider putting the potted tree outdoors a few days before planting to help it acclimate to the cold weather. This step will reduce the risk of shock when you put the plant in the ground.

Consider Timing Before Purchasing

While it may be difficult to resist ordering from an online fruit tree nursery, you should consider the timing before your purchase. Unforeseen circumstances are always possible, but it’s helpful to order new plants when you can immediately plant them.

Hopefully, knowing what to do if you can’t plant when your order arrives will help you maintain healthy trees. Your yard will be beautiful with new trees, but you must do everything possible to keep them alive and well during the in-between process.

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