i am transplanting a young date palm and would like to avoid shock.

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You need to thoroughly wet the root ball of the young tree prior to planting, and if possible plant the root ball in sand like consistent soil, no clay or fist size rocks.  Water the hold at least 2 hours prior to planting, loosly compact the soil around the root ball in layers, the top layer (that should be around the base of the tree) should be compacted more that any of the other layers.  Once the tree is in the ground, water at least 3 x per day and a slight misting at night, then taper off the watering after about 2 weeks, the young date will be fine.  It's usually within the first couple of weeks that the shock of transplanting begine to show. - Birdy
by Master Gardner (33.0k points)

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