How To Correctly Plant A Tree

Properly planting your tree is critical to maintaining a healthy tree for years to come. Incorrectly performing one or more steps can set your trees growth back years and might eventually lead to its death.

  • To start you’ll want to make sure you aren’t digging into any utility lines beneath the soil. You can call 811 or visit their website for more info.
  • Be sure that you aren’t planting trees too close to your septic tank or too close to a building unless the tree is suited for it.
  • Follow that up by checking for mature tree size and make sure to give it enough room to grow vertically and horizontally without any interference of power lines or other important structures.
  • Dig a hole as deep as the root ball (once soil is removed from the top, see below) and 2 to 3 times as wide as the root ball. 
  • Check the drainage (scroll to the bottom of the webpage) to ensure this is a good planting site. If necessary modify the hole for better drainage or change the planting site.
  • Remove the tree from the container by laying it on its side and gently pulling it out, and then place the tree upright on the ground.
  • Remove soil from the top of the root ball until the top of the main root system is visible. You should see several pencil thick (or larger) roots emerging from the trunk. You may have to remove up to 4 inches of soil (see photo).
  • Remove any small roots above this point and any roots that circle around main roots as they can cause significant damage in the future.
  • Backfill the hole to the top of the root ball with no soil amendments.
  • Assure that the root ball is not covered with soil above the top of the root ball.
  • In the High Desert be sure to stake the tree.
how to correctly plant a tree