A Guide to Planting Trees
Planting a tree seems as simple as digging a hole and placing the tree inside of it. Many more considerations and steps go into it in order to make sure your tree will be healthy and have the best possible chance to thrive and grow successfully.
- Minimize the Stress to Your Trees
- Protect your tree when transporting it to avoid damaging the bark, branches, and buds.
- Add padding to the trunk with burlap and tie up the loose bits with twine.
- Cover the root ball and bare roots with wet burlap or moss.
- Keep the tree crown covered with wet burlap to avoid drying out the top.
- Put the tree somewhere shady until it’s time to plant.
- Prepare the Planting Spot
- Clear any ground cover in a 50cm radius of the planting hole as they compete for water and nutrients.
- Dig the hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide.
- Ensure the soil is moist, not too wet, or too dry.
- Placing a cone-shaped mount of soil at the bottom of the hole is recommended for bare-root trees.
- Prepare Your Trees for Root Growth
- Bare-Root: Loosen the roots with water and straighten them out. Do not expose them to direct sunlight or drying winds.
- Container: Keep the tree in the container until the last moment before planting.
- Burlapped: Do not soak before planting. Remove the burlap before planting, and clip roots circling the outside of the root ball. Any roots matted on the bottom should be cut off.
- Plant Your Tree Carefully
- Bare-Root: Once you set the root crown into the hole, the roots will spread over the sides of the mound. Refill the hole with good soil and gently lift and lower the tree while pouring the soil to eliminate any air pockets.
- Burlapped and Container: Plant the tree so the top of the root ball is level with the top of the hole. Fill the hole in around the root ball with good soil and tamp it so it is about two-thirds full. Fill the rest of the hole with water to help settle the soil and allow the hole to drain. Finish filling the hole with soil, and create a ridge out of the soil to direct water towards the roots.
- Watering – If you have soil that drains easily, soak the tree two to four hours twice a week for the first few months, and then weekly for the first year. Don’t allow the roots to dry out. In the second year, water twice a month during the late spring and summer. Soil heavy in clay may pool water, so light watering is recommended to prevent flooding and make sure the roots receive an adequate level of oxygen.
- Fertilizing – Fertilizers high in phosphorous are recommended when planting to help promote the growth of the roots. As the tree matures, fertilizers higher in nitrogen can be applied to help with top growth and greening.
- Staking – If your tree is larger than one meter, it is recommended to stake it to prevent accidental dislodging by weather, humans, and animals. Ensure the stakes aren’t tight enough to damage the bark and remove them after two or three growing seasons.
- Pruning – Prune your tree when you plant it to improve the spacing of your branches and help promote a strong structure. Annual pruning should be performed after that, although deciduous and coniferous trees will need to be pruned at different times.
Call the professionals at DreamWorks Tree Services today at 1-800-407-9917 or contact us online for more information about planting new trees. Keeping your new plants healthy and growing strong is important, and our qualified team is dedicated to helping you.
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