The one consideration common to all methods of landscape plant installation is how to minimize transplant shock (stress) and return the plant to a normal state of growth as quickly as possible. In addressing that common consideration, the methods of installation vary greatly. A shallow rooted bedding plant, propagated in the artificial soil of a greenhouse and expected to live no longer than ninety days at its transplant site, will not require the same method of transplanting as a medium size tree that was grown undisturbed in a nursery field and is expected to grow and flourish for many more years in a new location.
Stress is the principal consideration that must be addressed and overcome. It can be both physical and physiological. For example, if a young tree is whipped by the wind, it may become physically injured at its base as the young trunk is bent back and forth while the root ball remains unmoved. Physiological stress can occur if the plant cannot
take up enough water after transplanting to prevent its wilting. Stress can also result from hypersensitivity to the light or temperature of the new location. The keys to reduction of stress and transplant shock are
• preparation of a proper planting site.
• preparation of the root system at the time of installation.
• proper placement and post-placement handling.
• correct backfilling.
• adequate watering and mulching.
• protection and stabilization of the transplant.
• timely follow-up care of the transplant.