What are the steps to plant my tree?
  • If you are thinking about planting trees, you are thinking about undertaking a task that will result in a lifelong investment. Getting your new tree off to a healthy start will help the tree mature to its full size, free from disease and decay, and provide environmental, economic, and social benefits throughout its lifetime.

    Here are the steps involved in planting a tree that ensure a long and healthy life:

    • Locate all underground utilities prior to digging.
    • Ensure you can identify the trunk flare. The trunk flare is where the trunk expands at the base of the tree. This point should be partially visible after the tree has been planted.
    • Dig a shallow, broad planting hole. Holes should be 2-3 times wider than the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball.
    • Remove the containers or cut away the wire basket. Inspect container tree root balls for circling roots. Straighten, cut, or remove them.
    • Place the tree at the proper height. Take care to dig the hole to the proper depth – and no more. If the tree is planted too deep, new roots will have difficulty developing because of a lack of oxygen.
    • Straighten the tree in the hole. Before backfilling, have someone view the tree from several directions to confirm it is straight.
    • Fill the hole gently, but firmly. Pack soil around the base of the root ball to stabilize it. Fill the remainder of the hole, firmly packing the soil to eliminate air pockets that may dry out roots. Further reduce air pockets by watering periodically while backfilling. Avoid fertilization at the time of planting.
    • Stake the tree, only if necessary. Studies have shown that trees establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting.
    • Mulch the base of the tree. Mulch is the organic matter spread around the base of a tree to hold moisture, moderate soil temperature extremes, and reduce grass and weed competition.
    • Provide follow-up care at least once a week by keeping the soil moist, but not waterlogged.

    Following these steps are so important! We encourage you to call on our certified arborists to assist in order to ensure your trees start their new life on your property correctly.

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