How To Plant A Tree

How your new tree is planted can determine whether it thrives or dies.

  1. Dig a hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball.  If you have heavy clay soil, mix your dirt and a planting mix ½ and ½.
  2. Cut and completely remove the bag or pot from the trees.
  3. Plant the tree so that the top of the root ball is at or slightly above the surrounding soil level.  DO NOT COVER THE CROWN OF YOUR TREE’S TRUNK WITH DIRT.  A tree planted too deeply will smother and die.  It may take a year or two, but it will definitely die.
  4. TAMP THE SOIL MIX FIRMLY around the root ball, eliminating all air pockets.
  5. Make a deep basin of soil to retain water. WATER DEEPLY & THOROUGHLY.
  6. MULCH (but the mulch should not touch your tree’s trunk)
  7. DO NOT FERTILIZE your newly planted tree for at least one year.


A large tree probably needs to be staked for the first year.  This will keep the tree stable in our high springs winds, allowing it to establish a good root system in its new home.   We stake with 3 or 4 posts inserted at an angle around the planting bed.  Twine is used to attach major branches to the posts.  Before tying, thread with a cut piece of garden hose.   Place the hose beside the bark to protect it.   Do not forget to remove your stakes after the first season!


Newly planted trees must be watered thoroughly for the first five (5) days after planting.  This settles the soil and removes air pockets in the soil and from around the tree.

Supplemental watering is extremely important during the first two years, especially during times of high winds, high temperatures, and low rainfall.  If your tree does not get enough water, the overall health of the tree will be adversely affected.

Mary Beth

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