Polyaspartic acid (PASP) hydrogel is an important and widely applied water-retaining agent, thanks to its special space network structure which contains a carboxyl group attached on the side chain. In this study, the PASP hydrogel with high water absorption rate (300-350 g H2O/g hydrogel) was developed and adopted to transplant Xanthoceras sorbifolia seedlings in the ecological restoration project of Mount Daqing National Nature Reserve. Transplantation experiments showed that the survival rate and leaf water content index for X. sorbifolia seedlings were increased by 8-12% and 4-16%, respectively. Additionally, compared with the counterpart without PASP hydrogel, the value of chlorophyll fluorescence that was considered as one of the most important indicators of plant physiology, was significantly improved with the addition of PASP hydrogel. The PASP hydrogel displays a promising future for the applications of increasing the survival rate and simultaneously alleviating the drought stress effects on the pioneer plants in arid and semi-arid areas.