Below please find step-by-step planting instructions for The Living Urn® with your tree or shrub. As always, if you have any questions prior to, during, or after planting, feel free to reach us at info@TheLivingUrn.com or by phone at (800) 495-7022 ext. 0. - we're here to help!
- Receiving Your Tree or Shrub: Try to plant your Seedling as soon as possible once you receive it.
- Prepare Your Tree or Shrub: Unpack your tree or shrub and carefully remove all packing materials. Carefully remove the plastic pot the tree came in. This can be done by cupping your hand softly on the root base (where the little tree trunk and soil meet) to catch and hold the loose soil in place while slowly tipping the tree and pot over. Next, gently pry the roots and attached soil from the small pot. DO NOT pull the root system apart – instead very gently loosen it up to allow the root system to stretch without damaging any of the roots. Carefully clip away any broken or damaged tips and branches that may have occurred during transit or while waiting for planting.
- Prepare the Hole: Make sure the location you choose for the tree or shrub is away from any structure. Dig a hole, wider than seems necessary, so the roots can grow outward without crowding. The hole should be at least 3 feet wide in diameter and about 12 inches deep. Remove any grass within a 3-foot circular area. To aid root growth, make sure the soil is turned in the area up to 3 feet in diameter.
- Prepare The Living Urn®: Remove The Living Urn’s BioUrn® from the bamboo case. Remove the paper label from the BioUrn® and take the top off (you will no longer need the top of the BioUrn®). Carefully and slowly pour the cremated remains into the bottom of the BioUrn® (if this wasn't already done beforehand). Next, pour the entire bag of RootProtect® ash soil additive on top of the cremated remains (this is found in the Bronze Bag). Gently press on the soil additive to compact it but not too tight.
- Prepare the Soil: Purchase some organic soil mix that does not contain any fertilizer and mix it with the original soil from the hole. Set this soil off to the side as it will be used in the upcoming steps to fill the remaining space in The Living Urn® on top of the RootProtect® soil additive.
- Plant The Living Urn® and Tree (or Shrub)
- First, keep in mind that when you are all finished, you want the “root collar” of the tree or shrub (where the top of the roots meet the bottom of the trunk) to be at ground level (you do not want to bury any part of the trunk).
- The amount of free space remaining in The Living Urn® after adding RootProtect® (the soil additive) will vary. This is because the amount of cremated remains can vary per person and also because some people will choose to use all of the cremated remains while others will use only a portion. Therefore, you may need to make adjustments to the depth of your hole in the ground to account for this – we will show you how in the next steps.
- Place The Living Urn® in the hole (RootProtect® soil additive should be on top of the cremated remains). Next, gently lower the root system of your tree or shrub into the remaining empty space of The Living Urn®.
- Finalize depth – if the “Root Collar” (where the top of the roots meet the bottom of the trunk) is below ground level, then add back soil to the hole, raising the “floor” created in Step 3 until the top of the “Root Collar” is at ground level (make sure no part of the trunk is buried). Once again, as in Step 3., compact the floor so it is nice and firm, but not overly compacted.
- Finish – While holding the tree or shrub in The Living Urn®, simply pour the ‘potting soil + topsoil combo’ created in Step 5 into The Living Urn® around the roots. Pour remaining mix back into the hole around The Living Urn®. Shovel the turned original soil back into the hole. This soil should be firm but not too tightly packed. You have created a water basin for the tree or shrub.
- Water: Next, water the tree or shrub and surrounding area generously. For the first 4 to 6 weeks, you may need to water every 2 to 3 days, adjusting for deep rainfall days. In making the decision to water, if in doubt, pull some of the soil back from the root area (going down about 5 inches and away from the tree about 4 to 6 inches. If the soil is dry, water. If the soil is moist to wet, check the following day. Be sure to put the soil back after each check.
- Add Mulch: After the water has soaked in, spread protective mulch about three inches deep in a 3-foot diameter area around the base of the tree or shrub, but not touching the trunk. We provide wood chips but you will likely need some additional wood chips or shredded bark to cover the entire area adequately. Mulch is a newly planted tree's best friend so use plenty.
- Tree / Shrub Care: The soil and mulch around your tree or shrub should be kept moist but not soggy. During dry weather in the Summer, water the tree every few days during the first two years. The water should soak into the soil and mulch – you want water to reach the depth of the roots. Avoid watering so much that you see standing water.
- Do not use fertilizer or chemicals with your new tree or shrub for the entire first year as this could hurt the baby tree. Consider using fertilizer the second year in the ground, but wait for the tree or shrub to leaf out before beginning any fertilizer program. Consult a local nursery for their recommendations for fertilizing the specific type of tree you are growing. A timed-release formula works good as it releases the fertilizer periodically throughout the growing season. We recommend putting a small fence (such as chicken wire) around your tree or shrub if your site is a feeding ground for rabbits, deer, or other wildlife.
- Planting Site – make sure you have carefully considered you planting site and your tree or shrub's specific sun/shade needs. A quick internet search of your tree or shrub can provide this information.