Planting Instructions

1. On Arrival

  • Open box and check labels for variety and rootstock.

2. Storage

  • Keep trees in a cool storage.

  • Keep roots and packing moist.

  • Keep box or package away from sun and wind.

  • If excessive days in shipment, inspect trees for damage and dryness.  

  • Note damage on freight bill and notify Van Well Nursery. 

3. Planting

  • Check variety labels before planting.

  • Dig a large hole (18" - 24" diameter, 16" deep).

  • Standard size trees plant with bud union at ground level.

  • Dwarf or semi-dwarf trees plant bud union 2" above ground level.

  • Spread roots out.

  • Fill hole about three-fourths full of soil and pack soil firmly around tree roots.  

  • Finish filling hole with water.  

  • After water soaks in, finish filling hole with soil.

  • We do not recommend using compost.

4. Pruning

  • Prune top to about 30".

  • Prune side limbs to about 3 or 4 buds.

  • Remove undesirable branches.

5. After Pruning

  • Be sure to protect tree from insects, rodents and disease.

  • Do not let tree dry out.

6. Fertilizer

  • We do not recommend fertilizing trees the first season they are set out. However, a slow release or transplanting fertilizer may be used.

7. Spraying

  • Plant pests and disease vary from area to area.  

  • For spraying instructions contact your county extension service or chemical distributor fieldman.

Spring Planting

During the Spring shipping season, growers can help make sure their orders arrive timely by calling ahead, 1.800.572.1553, to schedule delivery or pick-up. Keep in mind we ship week of and it can take up to 10 business days in transit from our office to your destination (especially East Coast and Midwest locations).

The trees should arrive in dormant condition and can be kept for several days after they arrive in a cool, dry place. Do not leave the trees outside because they could freeze overnight. Likewise, do not bring them into your home or a heated area as they could break dormancy. If you are a commercial orchard operation, do not store the tree where you have apples or other fruit being stored, the ethylene gas emitted from the fruit will kill the trees.

Once you plant the trees, be sure to cut them back. You should cut them to approximately 30 to 36 inches high and cut side limbs back to three or four buds. This will help the tree break dormancy. Your new tree does not need fertilizer as it has enough stored energy in the roots to grow this first season. Water the tree in well and make sure the soil is packed tightly around the root to avoid air pockets.

If you have any problems with the tree not breaking dormancy, please contact us.