How To Properly Plant A Tree

Our customer’s father passed away suddenly and one of the gifts she received from her father-in-law was a tree to honor her late father. The gift of the young tree was so precious to her that she wanted to make sure it was well-planted in her backyard so that she could enjoy the tree for years to come and remember her father. She reached out to our tree care specialists for guidance, as she was concerned that her tree be planted far enough from her house as not to cause future damage, that the tree received enough sunlight, and also that she was able to care for it to see it mature into a strong and healthy tree. 


If you’d like to plant your own tree, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your tree is properly planted so that it lives a long and healthy life!


Tools
When it comes to tools, there isn’t much you need other than a trusty shovel (for digging), a tape measure, a stake (to mark the location), some spray paint (for marking the location) and a garden hose (for watering)! 

Decide Where To Place Tree
The first thing you need to do is decide where exactly you want the tree to be placed. It’s important to stay at least fifteen feet away from any structures (like your home or neighbor’s house), sidewalks, driveways, other trees, and power lines. Once you’ve determined that you are clear from houses and other structures, you can mark exactly where you want to place the tree. Our tree service specialists recommendation is that you place a stake in the ground so that you can measure the diameter for the root ball. 

Next, take out your can of spray paint and mark a circle (using the stake as a guide). You will need the circle to be 2-3 times wider than the size of the root ball. An easy trick is to also use a piece of string or rope as a guide to make the perfect circle!

Prepping Your Tree for Planting
Now, you’ll need to prep the tree to get it ready to be planted. You’ll first need to loosen and remove some of the soil from the top of the root ball. Just scrape off enough soil so that you see some of the roots showing. Once you’ve done that, you can now measure the root ball itself so that you can properly determine the the depth that the hole should be. You’ll want to measure from the bottom of the root ball to the top. You’ll then start to dig a a hole as deep as the root ball!

Start Digging
Make sure and grab your tape measure to check the depth of the hole you’re digging along the way. When you’ve gone far enough down, level out the bottom of your hole so that it is flat. Now, fill the bottom of the hole with a light dusting of fertilizer so your tree has a good start with healthy nutrient dense soil.  

Place Your Tree In The Hole
Once you’ve filled the soil with fertilizer, it’s now time to drop your young tree into the hole. This should be done with the utmost of care, since the tree is in a very delicate state. You’ll want to position the tree correctly and make sure that it’s not leaning. Also, be sure to remove any burlap or twine that might be holding the root ball together. You can snip this away when the tree is placed appropriately in the hole. Loosen the roots, as well, as they often get tightly compacted!

Backfill Your Hole
Now you are ready to backfill the hole with soil! Before you start adding back in the soil, take some time to mix in fertilizer, so your tree has more nutrients in the soil surrounding it. Our tree service specialists advice that you start by adding the soil back into the hole and water thoroughly after all the has been added back in. 

Add Mulch Around Your Tree
As the final step, add mulch around the tree to keep the moisture, nutrients, and soil in place! Keep the mulch away from the tree trunk because it can often lead to rot. Make sure and water your tree each day to keep it moisturized!

If you need any assistance with planting your tree properly, it’s always a best practice to reach out to a tree service specialist to assist you. With their mastery in tree care, they can expertly give you guidance so that you can enjoy your trees for years to come!

Interesting in learning more about tree care, planting, and maintenance? Visit some of our other articles below:

Low Maintenance Trees in Colorado

Best Time of Year to Plant Trees in Colorado

Preparing Your Soil for Tree Planting

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