Care of new tree
We have just planted a new holly tree. It is about 3 feet tall. With winter weather here, how should we nurse it? Should we water it or just let it alone for the winter? We are afraid that if we water it now the ball will freeze and die. On another thing, last week we asked about planting the bush in an area where there was some Sudum. Thank you for your very prompt reply. We also want to commend you on the spirit of your reply. It was very friendly. It is a great service that you provide.
The sedum is not a problem.
You do not need to do anything for your tree during the winter. Water evaporates from the soil very slowing in the winter, so it stays moist all winter, provided we did not have a drought in the fall and the soil was dry when it froze. (The plant is perfectly hardy and easily tolerates frozen soil.) So, the important thing is to be sure that the soil is moist in fall, going into winter.
Moist (not soggy) soil is crucial for the success of new plantings. So, water when we do not get regular rain--for at least the first two years. This most often means keeping an eye on the weather for droughty periods--usually in the summer. Get a rain gauge so you know how much water your property is getting. Plants like about 1" of water a week. When you water, water deeply and slowly so the water soaks in.
Here is more info from our website on watering: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/watering-guidelines