How to Plant a Tree (and Get It Right the First Time)

Trees are often referred to as the lungs of the world, and with good reason. An acre of trees will produce about as much oxygen in a year as 18 people will breathe annually. If you’re thinking of investing in the air we breathe by planting a tree then this step by step guide is for you.

Let’s take a closer look at how to plant a tree.

When to Plant a Tree

The best time to plant a new tree is around the fall. You want to leave sufficient time between planting your tree and the arrival of summer. If you miss the fall then the beginning of spring is also a good time.

How to Plant a Tree

Before you plant your tree you might want to do a little planning to make sure you plant it in the right place. The type of tree you’re planting will have a lot to do with this. For example, you don’t want to plant tall-growing trees underneath power lines.

It’s also important to locate all of the underground utility lines. There’s no reason why the roots of your tree and the underground lines can’t co-exist peacefully. However, if the lines need to be dug up for repair then it’s going to mean damaging the roots of your tree.

Once you’ve established where you’re planting, let’s get started.

1. Identify the Trunk Flare

At the very bottom of the tree, you will notice that the trunk expands. This is known as the trunk flare. This part of the tree should be visible above the ground when you plant it.

2. Dig a Wide, Shallow Hole

When digging a hole for your tree it should be 3 times wider than the mass of roots. However, it’s important not to make the hole too deep. Dig the hole as deep as the root ball. This way you can ensure that the trunk flare is exposed. 

3. Prepare the Tree

Remove the container of your new tree and inspect the roots for circling roots. If you find any then straighten them out if you can. If not then cut or remove them.

4. Plant the Tree

Now you can place the tree in the hole. Before you start backfilling make sure that the tree is straight. Double-check that trunk flare is just above ground level. Planting the tree too deeply can make it difficult for the roots to get enough oxygen. 

5. Fill the Hole

As you fill the hole, pack the soil to make sure they’re no air pockets that might dry out the roots. You can also water the soil as you backfill to pack the soil in tighter. Do not use any fertilizer while planting your tree.

6. After Care

Now spread a little mulch around the base of the tree. Once your tree is planted you need to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. Try and water your tree once a week, and adjust according to the weather.  

Avoid pruning the tree at first. If done incorrectly you can damage the tree and even shorten its life. Take a look at how can pruning kill a tree.

Let It Grow!

That’s it! If you pick your location well and follow these easy steps on how to plant a tree then you’ll have just successfully planted your first tree. No matter whether you’re wondering about how to plant a peach tree or how to plant a lemon tree, these steps will help you get the best out of your chosen tree without any headache!

Be sure to check out the rest of our site for more tips for around the home. 


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