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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Includes all types of plant cultural information

There is not a lot of good news when answering this question. The fact is all large trees have large roots. The roots must be large enough to hold the tree up in windy conditions. When a tree is small the roots start out small and they grow several inches below the surface. As the tree grows taller and thicker so do the roots. The roots that started out just below the surface grow in diameter. That is how surface roots develop; they are not new roots that are growing. As the tree grows you can add a couple inches of soil occasionally to help cover the roots and allow grass to grow or allow for mowing. I do not recommend building raised flower beds around the bases of large trees as that will kill the tree in many instances. Some trees that are slower to develop surface are Red Maples and Oaks. Avoiding fast growing trees is the best answer.

We understand occasionally circumstances require that an order must be cancelled. Unfortunately, we must pass on to the customer all financial institution processing fees for both payment and refunds.

All uncharged orders will be charged a minimum 25% cancellation fee

All charged orders via credit card or Paypal will be charged a 35% cancellation fee

All orders with special product purchased in will be charged a 35% cancellation fee

We are sorry for this added expense, but to remain competitive in our industry we must pass on these additional expenses, I hope you understand

Training your young tree to become a well-developed tree is quite easy. First step; place a tall stake (approx. 6 foot tall) securely in the ground about 12"deep and next to the main trunk. Be careful not to injure the roots of the plant. If the stake will not easily penetrate the ground, try moving the stake to a different location around the tree. Loosely tie the main stem to the stake using a stretchy material. As the stem grows continue tying it to maintain a central leader. Once the central stem reaches about 4 or 5-foot-tall, you can nip off the top, this forces the side branches to begin growing. I recommend not removing lower side branches until they become the diameter of a pencil, although not very attractive, these lower side branches help in the thickening and growing of the tree trunk caliper. A thick trunk will give the tree strength to support ice and withstand wind. Once you have nipped the top, and the side branches are growing, you can nip the tips of these side branches when they reach about 12" to 18" long, this will develop structural branching. The final step is to retrain a new central leader. Choose a branch or bud that is growing close to the top of the main stem. You can train this new branch to become the new central leader by carefully tying it to the support stake. This new branch will take on the role of central leader. That's it, this should take two growing seasons to complete. We have included a fertilizer packet to include at planting time, the packet(s) will keep your tree fed for one full season. Next spring feed again, the fertilizer and water are the keys to healthy fast-growing trees. For complete tree training instructions click here

Due to the tremendous selection of varieties and sizes available, we do not have a printed catalog containing all our plants. We do include with your order a Proven Winner catalog which contains all the Proven Winners plants.

Japanese Maples with red leaves can turn from red to green when the intensity of light is decreased. This is also true for many varieties of red leaf plants when the light intensity is decreased. It is not uncommon for the new upper most leaves the ones in higher light exposure to be very red and the lower or inside leaves that are shaded by other leaves to become green. Once these trees are given more space the red color comes back. Many times in a landscape environment the area that was once a sunny location has become more shaded do to other plants or trees growing larger and casting more shade than when they were younger and smaller.

Every plant and tree you purchase from Sooner Plant Farm will be shipped directly from our farm in Oklahoma. We do not drop ship plant material from other farms or locations, so you can always contact us directly regarding questions about your order. We are completely familiar with the trees and plants we grow, ship, and the care they have received. Please contact us if you have a question about a plant or tree you have purchased, or questions concerning a future purchase, we are always happy to help and answer your questions.

The intensity of autumn leaf color is a result of temperature and moisture during the summer and fall. The best colors develop when the day temperatures are warm and the night temperatures are cool below 45 F but above freezing, and the soil has plenty of moisture. The more days with these kinds of conditions the better and more intense the fall colors.

When your order arrives, First inspect the shipping carton for damage. Second open the box and check to make sure your order is complete. If your order is not complete check the packing slip to be sure the missing item or items are not being shipped separately. If something is missing contact us so a replacement can be sent. Next, unpack your trees remove the plastic bag from the pot and water them thoroughly. We recommend planting asap however if you are not ready to plant them immediately, move the trees to a sheltered location like a garage or shed. Be sure to avoid areas of wind, direct sun, and freezing temperatures. Check the soil for moisture every day, and water as needed. See our Planting and After Care Instructions.

Our normal shipping is Fed Ex Home delivery. We schedule shipping as best possible, so your order arrives within the week and avoids weekend delays. Being located in Oklahoma we are normally able to ship coast to coast in five days or less.

NOTE: Due to Covid 19, carrier shipping delays are possible. Please be sure to contact us immediately if your package arrives damaged.

We schedule normal deliveries around the first and last freeze dates for your area. You can find your approximate shipping date, by entering your zip code in the find your hardiness zone box, on the detail pages throughout our website. If you prefer a different ship date, see below. We can ship most dormant plants trees any time of the year, providing the temperature is above freezing and below 90 degrees. Our plants and trees remain outside through the year which allow them to become dormant in winter. Fall and Spring are the best and most common times to plant because of the mild temperatures and moist soil conditions. If you decide to plant in the winter or summer months, you will need to water often, and keep your tree mulched with straw, pine needles, or leaves.

Rest assured, we have spent many hours developing a shipping method that really delivers without damage. All plants & trees are securely fastened in our specially designed shipping cartons. Each plant is watered, pruned and staked if necessary. We also bag and sealed the planting container to hold soil moisture and keep the soil and root system secure during the shipping process.

Due to Department of Agriculture restrictions, if you are shipping to the states listed below, shipping may be postponed up to 10 days due to Department of Agriculture inspection of the plants being shipped.(Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington) Also a $20.00 inspection fee is added to your order for the cost of a phytosanitary certificate. Additionally, we cannot ship to P.O. boxes.

Please know the inspection is required by those states to ensure no insects or diseases are being imported.


We will ship your order to any address in the U.S, excluding ALASKA, HAWAI,. If shipping to the states listed below, shipping may be postponed up to 10 days due to Department of Agriculture inspections.(Arizona, California Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington) Additionally we cannot ship to P.O. boxes

 

Pruning can be done most anytime of the year. However, knowing about the plant or tree you are pruning is important to know when not to prune. Knowing when a plant flowers is very important; you would not want to prune a flowering plant after the flowering buds have formed and before it flowers or you will miss the flowering show. Knowing that pruning can trigger or encourage a plant to grow is also important. Pruning in spring can cause a plant to grow earlier than it normally would which could put the plant in jeopardy of freeze damage or even killing it. Pruning too late in the fall can also cause freezing issues. Because there are so many factors involved in when to prune a specific plant or tree, it is best to search the web for best time to prune each specific plant.

If you have pruning questions, feel free to contact us we would be happy to help guide you in the right direction.

Please refer to our Planting Instructions.

If credit card is selected as your payment method the amount of your purchase will be held as a reserved on your credit card. Although, no actual charges will be billed until your order is being prepared for shipped.

If Paypal is selected as your payment method, we must receive payment with 3 days or your order will be cancelled.

Note: Special ordered product must be paid for in advance.

All charges will show up on your credit card as Sooner Plant Farm purchase.

All Sooner Plant Farm plants and trees are carefully selected by trained nursery personnel before being sent to our packing and shipping department. Each plant & tree is inspected again before being packaged and shipped. Even though we take measures, choosing and packaging your tree, sometimes the trees are not as happy about the move as we would like them to be. If your tree fails to grow, first look over the planting location, make sure it is not planted in a spot that holds water. Make sure you are keeping the soil moist but well-draining. If this is the second year after planting, make sure the tree has been properly fertilized. Check for diseases or insects. Rabbits and deer like to keep the young tops of trees nibbled off so protect against them. Also check to make sure the trunk of the tree has not been damaged by a mower, weed eater or pet leash. Please know it is not uncommon for a plant or tree to take a couple seasons for the roots to become established and start producing top growth. This does not mean it’s a bad or unhealthy plant, it means the environmental conditions like soil conditions, sun exposure, temperatures, wind conditions are different than what the plant has been used to and it will take some time for the plant to adjust. Also newly planted plants want to have their roots established before they start new top growth. Anything effecting root growth will delay the plant from growing. If your plant is having trouble feel free to contact us we are happy to help.

We take great care and pride packaging all orders. In the unlikely event your order is damaged, please notify us immediately. Our normal office work hours are Monday thru Friday 8:00a.m - 4:00 p.m. You may call us at (918)453-0771 or email us info@soonerplantfarm.com. We will immediately file a claim, most claims are normally settled within one week. A replacement tree will be reshipped on our next scheduled ship date. You must keep the damaged product and shipping carton until the claim is approved. A product pickup or inspection of the damaged product and shipping carton may be necessary by the shipping company. Once the claim is approved, and the shipping company is not picking up the product you may discard or keep the damaged plant material. Most plants and trees will fully recover from minor damage.

Since, all Sooner plants and trees are grown and shipped in growing containers, they can be shipped and planted anytime throughout the year. Although it is best to avoid shipping during extreme temperatures, above 90 degrees and below 32 degrees.
We schedule shipping orders so they arrive without weekend delays. Our shipping schedule is based on the hardiness zone for your area. Our zone and shipping schedule is available as a lookup box on every plant detail page. If you would like to reschedule your shipping date, just reply with the preferred ship date, we will do our best to reschedule and reconfirm the date via email.

We will ship your order to any address in the U.S, excluding ALASKA, HAWAI,.

If shipping to the states listed below, shipping may be postponed up to 10 days due to Department of Agriculture inspections.(Arizona, California Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington)

Additionally, we cannot ship to P.O. boxes

Each variety of tree has it's own growth rate. If everything effecting the tree is perfect most tree varieties will grow 2'-3' taller the first season after planting. Of course, every planting location will not be perfect, so actual growth rates will vary. There are four main factors for maximizing the growth of your tree. First, the location where you plant the tree, if the tree requires some shade, make sure it is not planted in full sun, if it requires full sun, plant it in full sun. Second factor is the soil condition, the worst thing you can do is plant your tree in a slow draining location, this will may kill your tree and at the very least slow the growth to a crawl. Third, is water requirements; planting a tree in a location that is slow draining is not a good alternative to planting in a well drained location and watering often. Watering every few days or once a week until the tree becomes established is recommend. Roots have two functions, to anchor the tree so it stays standing in high winds (those are the large roots that go deep into the soil), the other is to search for water, and feed the tree. If the soil remains constantly wet, the roots will have no reason to search for water causing the tree to only develop a small shallow root system. I like to let a hose slowely drip water at the base of my trees for several hours each. A deep watering less often, is much better than shallow waterings every day. It is best to have a over active root system like the ones with Imagine Backyard Trees®. Our trees have hundreds or thousands of feeder roots just waiting to supply the tree with all it needs to maximize growth. The forth factor is fertilizer, the fuel the tree uses to remain healthy and vigorous. Keep your tree properly fertilized, to maximize growth.

Yes, your plants need fertilizer. Think of fertilizer as plant nutrition, not medicine to cure a sick plant. All plants need nutrition to stay healthy and grow. It is important to always have fertilizer available for your plants to use during the growing months. The difference between fertilizing and not fertilizing, is like night and day. A properly fed plant or tree will remain healthy and grow much faster, and with less chance of insects or diseases causing problems. It is best to have your soil tested if you want to optimize your soil fertility. I use and recommend slow release type fertilizers for all plants and trees in my nursery and landscape. One feeding in the spring with a slow release fertilizer is all you need for the entire year. Follow directions for amount to apply. Liquid and granular type fertilizers can also be used successfully, although you must follow directions on the package for the correct amount to apply. To purchase slow release fertilizer for all you plants Click Here

There are several factors involved in answering this question. The first factor to consider, is what form of a root system does your plant have? Is the plant or tree bareroot, bareroot and freshly wrapped in burlap, or has it been container grown? Bareroot must be dug and planted while the tree is dormant during the winter months and are stored in warehouses or large coolers for long periods of time. It is very important that bareroot plants & trees are properly dug and stored. If they are not dug when well into dormancy, they may have not stored the energy necessary to leaf out and grow well the next season. Also, if the trees are not stored at the proper temperature, they will begin to leaf out in storage. This is not a good thing, since the energy the tree is using to break bud should be used to produce roots. If you receive a tree that is in a bareroot form or freshly wrapped in burlap and the leaves are emerging, call the vender and report your concerns. One last thing to consider is the number of feeder roots that are cut off during the digging process. Feeder roots are the soft white root tips. Because all or most feeder roots are cut or broken off during digging, handling and storing a high percentage of bareroot plants & trees die quickly, struggle for several years or take several years to become healthy again. Container grown plants and trees can be planted anytime of the year since the root system is much less disturbed, and our Root Pouch® container grown plants & trees will transplant with virtually no or very little transplant shock.

Air root pruning is one of the growing techniques we use to encourage our trees to produce a healthy and vigorous root system and our Root Pouch® fabric growing containers provide the perfect air root pruning environment. When a root tip is pruned, the plant will respond by growing two or more new roots. When these new roots are also pruned, even more new roots will be grown. Each time this happens, the plant develops a stronger and healthier root system. The Root Pouch® fabric growing containers allows us to take air root pruning to the highest level and encourage new root growth every day. We have proven that our plants and trees grown in our Root Pouch® fabric growing containers and using additional air root pruning methods, will transplant with little or no shock. This allows them to become established quicker, remain healthier, and mature into specimen trees in your landscape, much sooner than conventional bare root or plastic container grown plants & trees.Please know most plant nurseries do not take the time or spend the extra expense to produce plants using air root pruning methods. We at Sooner Plant Farm know how important and what health benefits are obtained by producing plants and trees using these techniques.

Click here to learn more about the Root Pouch ®