If you received one of our longleaf pine seedlings at this year’s Southern Farm Show, here are the planting instructions.
1. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot to plant.
2. Using a shovel, sink the blade into the ground and rock it back and forth several times to open a planting slit. The hole does not have to be deeper than the plug of the seedling.
3. Place the seedling in the slit, with 1/4 to 1/2″ of the root plug exposed above the ground level.
4. Sink the shovel blade into the ground about 4″ from the seedling, and rock it back and forth to tighten and close the planting slit at both the bottom and top of the hold.
5. Gently pack the soil around the seedling with the ball of your foot. The bud at the base of the needles should be above ground level and free of any loose dirt.
6. Water the seedling only during very dry times or if its needles begin to turn pale green or brown due to drought stress.
7. Flag or otherwise mark your seedling to protect it from lawn mowers and weed eaters. The tree will resemble a clump of grass for the first year (or even two), but will soon thereafter begin rapid height growth.