Caring for your Little Sap
Just like dreams, your Little Sap must be nurtured in order to grow and thrive. Our Little Saps are plug tree seedlings, which means that they come with their own soil plug. The soil plug protects the roots of the seedling, keeping them moist and minimizing any disturbance to the root system. Because the seedlings come with their own soil plug, they are more versatile - they can be shipped throughout the year and also have a wider planting window.
Little Saps are shipped in a plastic bag to help retain moisture, however, the moisture will not last forever! As soon as possible, you need to give your seedling a new home - in a pot or outside.
Little Saps that come already planted in a container can remain in that container for a year or so, but as the tree grows, it will need more space. If a tree remains in a container that is too small, the roots will grow together and the tree will form a root ball, making it less likely to thrive when planted outdoors.
Indoor Planting Instructions: Plant your Little Sap in a large container with drainage holes and plenty of space for the tree to grow. Use a planting mix of soil and organic material like peat moss. It is important that whatever mix you use provides good drainage. Create a hole large enough for the soil plug, center the plug, and gently press soil around the base of the seedling so that the seedling is stable and can stand upright on its own. Keep the soil around the roots loose, so that the roots have room to grow and water can get to them. Place the container in a sunny location. Make sure to give your little tree a thorough watering when you first plant it. After the initial watering, make sure the soil stays moist, but not soggy. If the roots sit for a long time in too much water, they will rot. During the winter, consider keeping your tree in a cooler area so it has a chance to go through a period of dormancy, a natural stage in a tree's yearly life cycle that gives it a chance to rest and rejuvenate. As your tree grows, you will need to transplant it into a larger container or plant it outdoors. You can plant a containerized tree outdoors in the spring, summer, or fall (see outdoor planting instructions).
Outdoor Planting Instructions: Since your Little Sap comes with a soil plug, you can plant it outside almost any time that the ground is not frozen and the soil can be worked (spring, summer, or fall). If your Little Sap is already in a container, gently remove the little tree, being careful to keep the soil around the roots intact. Choose a sunny location and prepare a hole that gives the roots plenty of room to spread out. Fill the hole half way and center the root plug, making sure the root plug is 1/4 to 1/2 inch below the ground surface. Using some soil, secure the tree in an upright position, then fill and firmly pack the hole with the original soil. Soak the area well with water (you can create a water basin with soil around the seedling to keep the water in). Once all the water soaks in, add a protective layer of mulch around the area, but not touching the trunk. Especially in the first year, make sure to keep the tree watered during dry weather. The soil should be moist, but not soggy.