It’s no secret that at Good’s Tree and Lawn Care, we love trees. We love working with trees. We love posting about trees. And we love blogging about trees. We have written blogs about how to identify your tree and how to care for your tree. But so far, we haven’t blogged about planting a tree. Well, we are about to fill that hole (see what we did there?). Let’s get into the proper way to plant a tree.

First, a warning. Do not dig a planting hole until you are sure there are no underground utilities in the immediate area. Find out how to locate underground lines here. Keep in mind that utility services do not typically locate privately installed features such as gas lines installed to serve grills, etc.

Select a spot. Make sure the tree you have chosen will fit in the space you have selected for planting. There should be plenty of room for the tree at its projected size at maturity, both above and below ground. Be sure that your planting spot is at least several feet from paved surfaces or fences on all sides, at least 15 feet from any buildings, and at least 25 feet from overhead power lines.

Dig a hole. The planting hole should be dug 2-3 times as wide as the root ball, with a wide and shallow shape like a saucer. The hole only needs to be deep enough to keep the root flare near the surface. 

Start planting! Remove the tree from the container and locate the top of the root system. Roots that are circling can be straightened, if possible, or else removed.  Position the tree in the center of the planting hole. Backfill with soil that was removed from the hole. Water the hole to settle out air pockets in the soil. Double-check to ensure the top of the root system is visible at the soil surface. If the roots are buried too deep, problems can result in shortening the life of the tree.

Finish up. Apply a layer of mulch to the area to a depth of 4 inches, avoiding direct contact with the tree trunk. Staking is not typically necessary unless the tree leans or tips. Even then, staking should not be necessary beyond the first season or two after planting.

Don’t forget to water. Water is critical to the establishment of a newly planted tree. Apply water once a week as a saturating trickle from a garden hose for the first full season after planting your tree. Adjust according to weather conditions if necessary: more if it has been hot and dry, less if it has been wet and rainy.

Whether it be planting or some good ole TLC, Good’s Tree and Lawn Care can help! Check out all our tree services here