How to Plant a Tree in Your Garden

Plant it well and take care of it, and your tree will pay dividends, providing your yard with color, shade and structure for many years to come.

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Hawthorn Tree with Pink BloomsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited The delicate pink blossom of this hawthorn (Crataegus) is followed in autumn by masses of scarlet berries, which make a tempting feast for birds. Ferns, witch hazel and bleeding hearts enhance the texture and color of the border.

When to Start: Late autumn
At Its Best: All year round
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Materials Needed:

  • tree
  • spade
  • fork
  • cane
  • stake
  • tree tie
  • mulch
  • gardening gloves

Prepare the Ground

Dig a circular hole twice the width and the same depth as the root ball; digging the hole deeper than the root ball may cause the tree to sink once planted. Instead, puncture the base and sides with a garden fork to encourage the roots to penetrate.

Planting a TreeEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Check Planting Depth

Most trees are planted with the top of their root ball slightly above the soil surface, which helps them to establish a strong root system and avoid drainage issues. Place the tree in the hole, lay the shovel handle across the top of the root ball to check the level, and add or remove soil as required.

Check Soil Level with CaneEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tease Out Roots

Lift the tree from the hole and use your fingers to gently tease the outer roots away from the root ball. This will encourage them to root into the surrounding soil, helping the tree establish, and is particularly important if the tree is root-bound.

Tease Out Roots for Proper PlantingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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