How to Plant a Tree

This video covers fool proof, step by step instructions to help you buy and plant trees the right way for your home. Planting a tree sounds easy enough, but most people overlook simple steps that ensure successful growth.

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    6 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Hey, great article, has lots of good information for my research on planting trees. We just published a story with 18 companies that plant trees for each purchase. Regards, Simon


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Amazing! :-O I might show this to my dad, we always plant plants and trees all around the house and yard, and I could show this to him, he would love it!

    We plant 2 inch trees (same size as yours, maybe a little shorter but the balls are just as big) in residential areas and around the city where I work, and our method is a little different. First we choose a location and use a shovel to mark a 5 foot circle. 5 feet is about the length of a shovel so it is easy to measure. We then remove the sod with shovels or if it is fresh sod even with our hands and put it in a wheelbarrow. The key is to remove as little dirt as possible while removing all the sod, this will save you work later on. We then dig out the hole until it is as deep as the ball is tall. We measure the height with a shovel, and you always measure the ball first or your eyes will betray you. Any good dirt is thrown in the wheelbarrow over the sod and a second wheelbarrow if there is a lot of good soil. Any bad soil is thrown in another wheelbarrow and dumped in a trailer. Quite often we have clay soil and we have to use a pick (use the sharp end) to loosen chunks. Simply pick the hole trying to remove slabs, starting close to you and moving from side to side as you move to the far side. We then prune any dead branches on the tree and remove all the tags. We move the tree into the hole by having one person "steer" and having another person roll the ball. Once the tree is in the hole we straighten it with hooks. It is important to straighten the tree by the basket and not by the trunk or you will loosen the ball root structure. Once the tree is straight we cut the ropes, bend the basket back, and peel back the burlap near the top of the ball. We insert a garden hose into the hole at this time. Next we use a shovel and take 3 inch slices around the hole as deep as the shovel goes. These slices are jammed and chopped up as much as possible near the bottom of the ball. Then we tip in the wheelbarrows of soil, add extra soil if needed, and chop up the sod and all the big chunks of soil. This is where it helped if you took of sod with little dirt. It is important to chop up all the soil and sod and remove any air pockets or the tree will die within a week. Then we make a berm out of wood chips like you did, but if planting on a hill we always leave the side that is pointing up the hill open to allow water to come in. Next we add 2 stakes a foot (literally a foot, like on the end of your legs) from the tree base and tie the tree so that it is straight and the ropes are under tension. We use baling wire which rots away when it is not needed anymore. Staking the tree is extremely important because it keeps the tree from blowing over or sagging to the side while the soil is still settling. Now we remove the garden hose, make sure everything was done right, drop a flyer on the person's doorstep, load up, and leave. In place of a garden hose you could add 3 five gallon buckets of water at anytime after putting soil back into the hole. We can plant a tree in about 15 minutes in clay soil with 2 men. I went to all the trouble of typing this up because your instructable is more of a "help to planning to plant a tree" instructable. People need to make sure there are no air bubbles and to stake their tree if they want it to live.

    1 reply

    Oh ya, and if you are going to plant a tree in your front yard LEAVE THE BASKET ON!!!! If there is a wire basket around the bottom of your tree we can get it out in 2 minutes with a boom truck, as opposed to 10 minutes of digging and pulling.