Transporting Plants

This is the time of year when many people are purchasing and planting trees and shrubs  in their lawns and gardens. Whether these trees and shrubs are fruiting or flowering species, transporting these plants from nursery to point of planting is mainly common sense. I’ve seen trees doubled over in the trunk of a car, tied to the roof of a van, hanging out the back of a livestock trailer and standing upright in the bed of a pickup. It’s not the tree/shrub that needs the common sense, it’s the person transporting said tree/shrub. Here are but a few things to keep in mind.

  • Before purchasing, think about how you are going to get it home.
  • When lifting woody plants, lift by the root ball, not the trunk.
  • Handle the root ball carefully (do not drop). You do not want the roots to separate from the soil which would reduce water uptake.
  • Keep the plants steady in your vehicle on the way home. Tie loosely if necessary.
  • If transporting in an open truck, water the plants prior to loading and group together tightly at the front of the bed next to the cab.
  • Drive slowly if transporting in an open-bed truck to prevent windburned foliage.
  • Secure a tarp over or around plants if possible when transporting in an open-bed truck.
  • If transporting inside your vehicle, protect the interior with a tarp, plastic or paper.
  • As my mother would say, use the common sense you were born with.

Keep your fork

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