When a homeowner plants a new tree or shrub a proper watering schedule is the most important cultural practice they must use to create an environment in which the tree or shrub will be successful. By adding the correct amount of water at the correct time you will achieve root establishment as quickly as possible. Regardless of whether the plant has a root ball or is bare rooted, water as soon as the plant is in place. Ensure you use enough water to wet all the soil around the roots. Once the soil is dry to approximately 1 inch below the surface of the soil, give the area some more water. The new tree or shrub may be needed to be watered once a week depending on the precipitation and temperature. One problem a homeowner can run into when planting a tree or shrub with a root ball is that the ball can dry out while the surrounding soil remains moist. By probing the soil one to two inches under the surface you can alleviate this problem. Check frequently, the soil should form a ball when squeezed together. If the soil crumbles, it is too dry. If you are planting a tree or shrub that is balled and burlapped or if the plant is in a container there is a few things you must do to give your new plant a better chance at survival. Remove all containers, wire baskets, or nylon from the root ball. Burlap should be removed or peeled back to give the water a better chance to penetrate the soil within the ball. Always apply the water slowly to decrease the amount of runoff. If the tree or shrub has a root ball you must also water the soil surrounding and outside the root ball. This causes better contact between the roots and the soil. Form a saucer-like depression around the root ball to cause the water to travel around the roots instead of running off into the grass. Over-watering is just as bad as under-watering. Plants are more likely to have root decay and oxygen deprivation if over-watering occurs. By implementing a good watering schedule your new shrubs or trees become well established and an integral part of your landscape.