Gardening Basics

How to Plant a Tree

Planting a tree seems like an easy task, but there is a process involved from start to finish. To give your tree a good chance for success, follow these simple step-by-step instructions.

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Water the Tree's Root Ball

To ease your tree into the transplanting process, make sure that it is well-watered ahead of time, especially for trees that are balled and burlapped or bare root. When roots are exposed to air, they can dry out. Tip: Dry roots equal dead roots, so give the tree some water to ensure a healthy life.

Dig the Hole

Once the site has been prepped and the tree is well watered and ready to planted, it's time to dig the hole. The hole doesn't need to be very deep, so that about two-thirds of the root ball will be under the soil surface. However, the hole does need to be fairly wide, roughly twice the diameter of the root ball. Dig a saucer shape planting hole that is shallow and wide.

Loosen the Subsoil

This helps give the tree's roots an opportunity to move more freely into the surrounding soil. Simply use a shovel to score, or loosen, the soil along the walls of the freshly dug hole.

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