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Guide To Planting A Tree

hands holding soil and seedling

Guide To Planting A Tree

Autumn has arrived, which means the days are shorter, the air is cooler and the weather is wetter. For these reasons, fall is the perfect season to plant trees. Whether you received a free tree through our Fall ReLeaf program or you acquired one on your own, caring for your tree is crucial in ensuring its resiliency and durability.

Our tips below will help guide you in properly planting your tree. Here’s to a healthy growing tree!

  1. Determine where to plant – for large trees get to know the full size of the tree and plant accordingly to any structures you want to protect (ie. Do not plant an oak tree within 15 – 20 feet of your foundation)
  2. Remove the tree from the pot – check to make sure that it does not have a root barrier on the bottom and cut any circling roots
  3. Identify the root flare – the flare will indicate the depth of the hole you need to dig. Use your shovel to measure
  4. Dig a hole – 3-4 times the size of the root ball and to the depth indicated by the flare
  5. Back fill – with original soil. Rather than compacting the soil with your foot, water the tree in 4 lifts (meaning with each quarter of soil installed in the hole, water to allow soil to settle, then add another quarter, carry on until the hole is full)
  6. Top off with mulch – 3-4” max and avoid mulch on the trunk of the tree
  7. Water in the hot months – when spring rains end, water the tree weekly/bi-weekly depending on summer storms from June to October for the first two to three years of establishment

graphic to planting a tree