We see youre using a mobile device.
Would you like to try our mobile site: m.gsa.gov?
Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
General Planting Procedures For Landscape Work
Jacob Weinberger Us Courthouse, San Diego, Ca
General Planting Procedures For Landscape Work
GENERAL PLANTING PROCEDURES FOR LANDSCAPE WORK
A. This procedure includes general guidelines for excavating
for, and planting, new trees, shrubs and groundcover,
seeding new lawns, preparing and applying soil
amendments, and providing initial maintenance of
B. When planning for or evaluating landscaping around
historic buildings, it is sometimes possible to obtain
original landscaping plans in the original drawings.
Such drawings may be available at the building, GSA
region or National Archives. Such plans, where they
exist, typically identify all plantings and their
quantities and location.
A. Federal Specifications (FS):
1. Q-P-166E Peat, Moss; Humus; and Peat, Reed-Sedge
B. American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI), 1430
Broadway, New York, NY 10018.
1. Z-60.1-1973 Nursery Stock
C. American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature:
1. Standardized Plant Names, Second Edition, 1942.
A. Design Data/Test Reports/Certificates:
1. Soils test: Furnish Architect with written soils
analysis by recognized laboratory made in
accordance with methods established by the
Association of Official Agriculture Chemists.
Soils analysis shall include recommendations for
any changes to specified soil amendments which are
deemed necessary as a result of the soils test.
2. Plant and Material Certifications:
a. Certificates of inspection as required by
b. Manufacturer's or vendor's certified analysis
for soil amendments and fertilizer materials.
c. Label substantiating that plants, trees,
shrubs and planting materials comply with
d. Seed vendor's certified statement for each
grass seed mixture required, stating botanical
and common name, percentages by weight, and
percentages of purity, germination, and weed
seed for each grass seed species.
3. Test Reports: Provide report on topsoil analysis
from approved testing sources:
B. Operation and Maintenance Data:
1. Maintenance Instructions: Provide written
instructions for the continuing care of installed
plants through the full growing season.
2. Maintenance Instructions: Typewritten instructions
recommending procedures to be established by Owner
for maintenance of landscape work for one full
year. Submit prior to expiration of required
1.04 QUALITY ASSURANCE
A. Subcontract landscape work to a single firm specializing
in landscape work.
1.05 DELIVERY, STORAGE AND HANDLING
A. Packing and Shipping: Deliver packaged materials in
containers showing weight, analysis, and name of
manufacturer. Protect materials from deterioration
during delivery, and while stored at site.
B. Acceptance at Site: Provide freshly dug trees and
shrubs. Do not prune prior to delivery unless otherwise
approved by Architect. Do not bend or bind-tie trees or
shrubs in such manner as to damage bard, break branches,
or destroy natural shape. Provide protective covering
during delivery. Do not drop stock during delivery.
C. Storage and Protection:
1. Deliver trees and shrubs after preparations for
planting have been completed and plant immediately.
If planting is delayed more than 6 hours after
delivery, set trees and shrubs in shade, protect
from weather and mechanical damage, and keep roots
moist by covering with mulch, burlap or other
acceptable means of retaining moisture.
2. Do not remove container-grown stock from containers
until planting time.
1.06 PROJECT/SITE CONDITIONS
A. Existing Conditions:
1. Utilities: Determine location of underground
utilities and perform work in a manner which will
avoid possible damage. Hand excavate, as required.
Maintain grade stakes set by others until removal
is mutually agreed upon by parties concerned.
2. Water Supply: Verify extent of on-site
availability and location for this work and
conditions of use with the government.
3. Excavation: When conditions detrimental to plant
growth are encountered, such as rubble fill,
adverse drainage conditions, or obstructions,
notify Architect before planting.
1.07 SEQUENCING AND SCHEDULING
A. Planting Time: Proceed with complete landscape work as
rapidly as portions of site become available, working
within seasonal limitations for each kind of landscape
1. Correlate planting with specified maintenance
periods to provide maintenance from date of
B. Coordination with Lawns: Plant trees and shrubs after
final grades are established and prior to planting of
lawns, unless otherwise acceptable to Architect. If
planting of trees and shrubs occurs after lawn work,
protect lawn areas and promptly repair damage to lawns
resulting from planting operations.
A. Warranty lawns through specified lawn maintenance period,
and until final acceptance.
B. Warranty trees and shrubs through specified maintenance
period, and until final acceptance.
C. Remove and replace trees, shrubs, or other plants found
to be dead or in unhealthy condition during warranty
period. Make replacements during growth season following
end of warranty period. Replace trees and shrubs which
are in doubtful condition at end of warranty period;
unless, in opinion of Contracting Officer, it is
advisable to extend warranty period of a full growing
1. Another warranty inspection will be conducted at
end of extended warranty period, if any, to
determine acceptance or rejection. Only one
replacement (per tree, shrub or plant) will be
required at end of warranty period, except for
losses or replacements due to failure to comply
with specified requirements.
D. Whenever observed by the Contractor or notified by the
Contracting Officer, the Contractor shall immediately
correct unsatisfactory conditions at no added cost to the
Government. This shall include damage to the buildings
and ground where the result of these Contractor
A. Maintenance Service:
1. Begin maintenance immediately after planting.
2. Maintain trees, shrubs, and other plants until
final acceptance, but in no case, less than
a. 60 days after substantial completion of
3. Maintain trees, shrubs, and other plants by
pruning, cultivating, and weeding as required for
a. Restore planting saucers.
b. Tighten and repair stake and guy supports and
reset trees and shrubs to proper grades or
vertical position as required.
c. Restore or replace damaged wrappings.
d. Spray as required to keep trees and shrubs
free of insects and disease.
e. Water trees, plants and groundcover beds
within the first 24 hours of initial planting
and not less than two times per week
(including rain) until acceptance.
4. Maintain lawns for not less than the period stated
below, and longer as required to establish an
5. Maintain lawns by watering, fertilizing, weeding,
moving, trimming, and other operations such as
rolling, regrading and replanting as required to
establish a smooth, acceptable lawn, free of eroded
or bare areas.
6. Upon completion of the maintenance period and prior
to final inspection, all lawn areas shall be
fertilized by the contractor with post-planting
commercial fertilizer (16-6-8) at the rate of 6
lbs. per 1,000 square feet.
7. The Contractor shall be responsible for a period of
one year after completion of plant installation to
maintain all planting and work incidental thereto
by replanting, plant replacements, watering,
weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, pruning,
controlling insects and diseases, reguying and by
performing all other operations of care for
promotion of root growth and plant life so that all
work is in a continuing satisfactory condition
throughout the maintenance period.
8. All planting and plant materials required by this
Contract shall be in a condition acceptable to the
Contracting Officer at the end of the maintenance
9. The Contractor shall replace any planted trees that
are dead, or are in an unhealthy or unsightly
condition or have lost their natural shape, or
both, due to dead branches, excessive pruning,
inadequate or improper maintenance, within the
warranty period. However, replacement shall be
made during the next planting season, after the
need becomes apparent notwithstanding that such
planting season may run beyond either the
maintenance period or the warranty period.
A. Topsoil: Topsoil will be protected in place for re-use
in landscape work. If quantity of stockpile topsoil is
insufficient, provide additional topsoil as required to
complete landscape work.
B. Soil Amendments:
1. Sawdust: Neutralized fir or redwood shavings, free
of chips, stones, sticks, soil, or toxic substances
and with 7.5 pounds of nitrogen uniformly mixed
into each cubic yard of sawdust.
a. Particle size, dry weight basis:
percent passing sieve size
95-100 1/4" mesh
0-3 no. 40 mesh
b. Organic content: 94% as determined by ash
1) Minimum 0.8% nitrogen based on dry
2) Minimum 0.8% dilute acid soluble iron
based on dry weight.
3) Salinity shall not exceed 2.5 millions
per centimeter as measured in the
2. Commercial Fertilizer: Complete fertilizer of
neutral character, with some elements derived from
organic sources and containing the following
percentages of available plant nutrients:
a. Pre-planting: Provide fertilizer with not
less than 6 percent total nitrogen, 20 percent
available phosphoric acid, and 20 percent
b. Planting tables: Tightly compressed, long-
lasting, slow release fertilizer tablets
manufactured expressly for placing in the root
zone of plants and providing not less than 20
percent total nitrogen, 10 percent available
phosphoric acid, and 5 percent soluble potash.
c. Post-planting: Provide fertilizer with not
less than the percentages of total nitrogen,
available phosphoric acid, and soluble potash
indicated. Provide nitrogen in a form that
will be available to lawn during initial
period of growth; at least 50 percent of
nitrogen to be organic form.
3. Peat: Shall be Federal Specification Q-P-166,
domestic product. Moss peat shall be horticultural
grade (fine shreds). Reed-sedge is not acceptable.
4. Bone Meal: Finely ground having a minimum analysis
of four percent nitrogen and 20 percent phosphoric
acid, delivered in unopened bags showing weight,
analysis and manufacturer's name, shall be stored
in weatherproof storage place and in such a manner
that its effectiveness will not be impaired.
5. Agricultural gypsum: Commercially packaged powder
form, calcium sulfate dihydrate at 95% minimum by
6. Soil sulfur: Minimum 98% elemental sulfur.
7. Iron supplement: Iron sulphate, long lasting,
pelletized, and shall contain the following minimum
available percentages by weight:
total combined sulfur 17%
sulfate sulfur 7%
C. Plant Materials:
1. Quality: Provide trees, shrubs, and other plants
of size, genus, species, and variety shown and
scheduled for landscape work and complying with
recommendations and requirements of ANSI Z60.1
"American Standard for Nursery Stock".
2. Deciduous Trees: Provide trees of height and
caliper scheduled or shown and with branching
configuration recommendation by ANSI Z60.1 for type
and species required. Provide single stem trees
except where special forms are shown or listed.
a. Container grown deciduous trees will be
required subject to specified limitations of
ANSI Z60.1 for container stock.
3. Deciduous Shrubs: Provide shrubs of the height
specified by architect and with not less than
minimum number of canes required by ANSI Z60.1 for
type and height of shrub required.
a. Container grown deciduous shrubs will be
required subject to specified limitations for
container grown stock.
4. Coniferous and Broadleafed Evergreens: Provide
evergreens of sizes specified by architect.
Provide normal quality evergreens with well
balanced form complying with requirements for other
size relationships to the primary dimension shown.
a. Container grown evergreens will be required
subject to specified limitation for container
D. Grass Materials:
1. Grass Seed: Provide fresh, clean, new-crop seed
complying with tolerance for purity and germination
established by Official Seed Analysts of North
America. Provide seed mixture composed of grass
species, proportions and minimum percentages of
purity, germination, and maximum percentage of weed
seed, as specified.
E. Ground Cover:
1. Provide plants established and well rooted in
removable containers or integral peat pots and with
not less than minimum number and length of runners
required by ANSI Z60.1 for the pot size shown or
F. Miscellaneous Landscape Materials:
1. Wood Headers and Edging: Of sizes shown and
following wood species.
a. All heart Redwood.
b. Provide wood stakes of the same species, 2" by
2" by 24" long and with galvanized nails for
anchoring headers and edging.
2. Mulch: Organic mulch free from deleterious
materials and suitable for top dressing of trees,
shrubs, or plants and consisting of one of the
a. Fir bark chips, medium texture.
3. Stakes and Guys: Provide stakes and deadmen of
sound new hardwood, treated softwood, or redwood,
free of knot holes and other defects. Provide wire
ties and guys of 2-strand, twisted, pliable
galvanized iron wire, not lighter than 12 ga. with
zinc-coated turnbuckles. Provide "Cinch-ties",
"Wonder Tree-ties", "Worldwide Standard Tree Ties",
of equal or uniform color, material, and size to
protect tree trunks from damage by wires.
4. Wrapping Material: Shall be 8 to 10 inch width
two-ply bituminous laminated crepe paper strips.
Tying twine shall be a lightly tarred medium or
coarse sisal yarn at top and bottom.
5. Anti-Desiccants: Shall be sprayable, water
insoluble vinyl-vinylidene complex which will
produce a moisture retarding barrier not removable
by rain or snow. The resultant film when applied
shall have a moisture vapor transmittance rate of
not more than 10 grams per 24 hours at 70 percent
humidity. Evidence shall be furnished that the
material meets these requirements and is safe for
both deciduous and evergreen plants before any
application shall be made.
6. Polystyrene Board Insulation: Closed-cell expanded
polystyrene beads molded into rigid insulation
boards complying with FS HH-I 524, Type I, Class A,
8.0 psi compressive strength, 2.5% maximum water
absorption and 1-1/2" thick.
7. Metal Pipe Liner: AASHTO Designation M245-78;
Precoated, Galvanized Steel Culverts and
Underdrains; Type I Pipe.
2.02 SOURCE QUALITY CONTROL
1. Inspection of Growing Site:
a. The Contracting Officer reserves the right to
inspect and select by tagging plant materials
before delivery from the growing sites. This
does not preclude the right of rejection at
the project site.
b. Provide the Contracting Officer the proposed
delivery schedule dates sufficiently in
advance to allow for these inspections.
2. Testing: Provide tests and report of topsoil
proposed for use. These shall be by the local
State Agricultural Experiment Station or any
agricultural laboratory recommended by the US
Department of Agriculture.
3. Inspection: The Architect may inspect trees and
shrubs either at place of growth or at site before
planting, for compliance with requirements for
genus, species, variety, size, and quality.
Architect retains right to further inspect trees
and shrubs for size and condition of balls and root
system, insects, injuries and latent defects, and
to reject unsatisfactory or defective material at
any time during progress of work. Remove rejected
trees or shrubs immediately from project site.
B. Verification of Performance:
1. General: Ship landscape materials with
certificates of inspection required by governing
authorities. Comply with regulations applicable to
2. Do not make substitutions. If specified material
is not obtainable, submit proof of non-availability
to Architect, together with proposal for use of
3. Analysis and Standards: Package standard products
with manufacturer's certified analysis. For other
materials, provide analysis by recognized
laboratory made in accordance with methods
established by the Association of Official
Agriculture Chemists, wherever applicable.
4. Trees, Shrubs and Plants: Provide trees, shrubs,
and plants of quantity, size, genus, species, and
variety shown and scheduled for landscape work and
complying with recommendations and requirements of
ANSI Z60.1 "American Standard for Nursery Stock".
Provide healthy, vigorous stock, grown in
recognized nursery in accordance with good
horticultural practice and free of disease,
insects, eggs, larvae, and defects such as knots,
sun-scald, injuries, abrasions, or disfigurement.
5. Label at least one tree and one shrub of each
variety with a securely attached waterproof tag
bearing legible designation of botanical and common
a. Where formal arrangements or consecutive order
of trees or shrubs are shown, select stock for
uniform height and spread, and label with
number to assure symmetry in planting.
6. Supply Source: Prior to bidding, verify sources of
supply to insure that all plants shown, of the
sizes, species, variety and quality required can be
supplied. Failure to provide may result in the
Contracting Officer obtaining the items and the
Contractor being held liable for these costs in
accordance with the Contract requirements.
1. Lay out individual tree and shrub locations and
areas for multiple plantings. Stake location and
outline areas and secure Architect's acceptance
before start of planting work. Make minor
adjustments as may be required.
B. Preparation of Planting Soil:
1. Before mixing, clean existing soil of roots,
plants, sods, stones, clay lumps, and other
extraneous materials harmful or toxic to plant
2. Mix specified soil amendments and fertilizers with
existing soil at rates specified. Delay mixing of
fertilizer if planting will not follow placing soil
within a few days.
3. For pit and trench type backfill, mix planting soil
prior to backfilling, and stockpile at site.
4. For planting beds and lawns, apply amendments on
surface of soil and mix thoroughly before planting.
C. Preparation For Planting Areas And Lawns:
1. Preparation of Unchanged Grades: Where areas are
to be planted that have not been altered or
disturbed by excavating, grading, or stripping
operations, prepare soil for planting as follows:
Till to a depth of not less than 6 inches. Apply
soil amendments and initial fertilizers as
specified. Remove high areas and fill in
depressions. Till soil to a homogenous mixture of
fine texture, free of lumps, clods, stones, roots
and other extraneous manner.
a. Prior to preparation of unchanged areas,
remove existing grass, vegetation and turf.
Dispose of such material outside of Owner's
property. Do not turn existing vegetation
over into soil being prepared for planting.
b. "Schedule of Planting Soil Mixture
Requirements" indicating required rate of
fertilizer application, is attached at end of
2. Fine grade areas to smooth, even surface with
loose, uniformly fine texture. Roll, rake, and
drag planting areas, remove ridges and fill
depressions, as required to meet finish grades.
Limit fine grading to areas which can be planted
immediately after grading.
3. Moisten prepared planting areas before planting if
soil is dry. Water thoroughly and allow moisture
to dry before planting. Do not create a muddy soil
4. Restore planting areas to specified condition, if
eroded or otherwise disturbed, after fine grading
and prior to planting.
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Excavation for Trees and Shrubs:
1. Excavate pits, beds, and trenches with vertical
sides and with bottom of excavation slightly raised
at center to provide proper drainage. Loosen hard
subsoil in bottom of excavation.
a. For all trees and shrubs, make excavations at
least half again as wide as the ball diameter
and equal to the ball depth.
2. Dispose of subsoil removed from planting
excavations. Do not mix with planting soil or use
3. Fill excavations for trees and shrubs with water
and allow water to percolate out prior to planting.
B. Planting Trees and Shrubs:
1. All plants shall have planting tablets placed three
inches below grade at the following rates during
a. (2) - 21 gram tablets per each one gallon
b. (4) - 21 gram tablets per each five gallon
c. (6) - 21 gram tablets per each fifteen gallon
d. (1) - 21 gram tablet per each linear four
inches boxed material size.
2. Set stock in planting hole, plumb and in center of
pit or trench with top of ball at same elevation as
adjacent finished landscape grades. When set,
place additional backfill around base and sides of
ball, and work each layer to settle backfill and
eliminate voids and air pockets. When excavation
is approximately 2/3 full, water thoroughly before
placing remainder of backfill. Repeat watering
until no more is absorbed. Water again after
placing final layer of backfill.
3. Set container grown stock, as specified; cut cans
on 2 sides with an approved can cutter; remove
bottoms of wooden boxes after partial backfilling
so as not to damage root balls.
4. Dish top of backfill to allow for mulching.
5. Mulch pits, trenches, and planted areas. Provide
not less than the following thickness of mulch, and
work into top of backfill and finish level with
adjacent finish grades.
a. Provide 2 inches thickness of mulch.
6. Prune, thin out, and shape trees and shrubs in
accordance with standard horticultural practice.
Prune trees to retain required height and spread.
Unless otherwise directed by Contracting Officer,
do not cut tree leaders, and remove only injured or
dead branches from flowering trees, if any. Prune
shrubs to retain natural character.
7. Remove and replace excessively pruned or misformed
stock resulting from improper pruning.
8. Guy and stake trees immediately after planting, as
9. Broadcast all planting areas (excluding lawn areas)
with post-planting commercial fertilizer (12-12-12)
at the rate of 8 lbs. per one thousand square feet
after all plants are installed.
C. Seeding New Lawns:
1. Do not use wet seed or seed that is moldy or
otherwise damaged in transit or storage.
2. Sow seed using a spreader or seeding machine. Do
not seed when wind velocity exceeds 5 miles per
hour. Distribute seed evenly over entire area by
sowing equal quantity in 2 directions at right
angles to each other.
3. Sow not less than the quantity of seed specified or
4. Rake seed lightly into top 1/8 inch of soil, roll
lightly, and water with a fine spray.
5. Broadcast all lawn areas with post-planting
commercial fertilizer (16-6-8) at the rate of 6
lbs. per 1000 square feet after lawn seed
installation, in addition to the fertilizer called
for in soil preparation in these specification.
D. Planting Ground Cover: