If you’re interested in adding a little more depth and dimension to your landscape, you just might be considering planting some trees. And you might be wondering just how to plant a tree. Planting a tree is a bit of a science, one that requires some careful planning and some hard work. Join Exmark Ambassador and landscaper Brian Latimer as he lets you in on the proper way to plant a tree.
As Latimer says, “Every good landscaping project starts out with a plan on paper.” He recommends sitting down and sketching out just what you’re about to do so you can visualize it before you begin. This helps prevent mistakes and ensures you feel confident before you start. Latimer reminds you that trees are an investment, so you want to be sure you plant them the right way the first time.
Before you get started, you’ll want a shovel, a rake for mulch, and maybe a pickaxe if you’re dealing with hard clay.
Considerations When Planting a Tree:
- Pick the right spot.
You want to make sure that you pick a spot that gives your tree all the things that it needs, whether it needs plenty of sun, light shade, or needs to be near a water feature.
- Dig the hole the right way.
When you dig the hole for your tree, you want to be sure that the hole you dig is three times the size of the root ball. You also want to ensure the sides of the hole are sloping. This allows the roots to have a place to grow and nice, loose dirt to grow in. It also encourages the later growth of your buttress roots. It also decreases the chance of girdling roots. Latimer reminds you not to “cheat this part!” The depth doesn’t matter as much as the width does.
After you place the root ball in the hole, you want to ensure that just a few inches of the ball is above the ground. The roots need to get a little extra air to grow properly. Latimer uses his shovel to measure where his root ball should sit by placing it across the hole he’s dug and ensuring the root ball comes up over the shovel.
You should put two-thirds of the dirt back into the hole, but don’t pack it down too tightly. Packing the dirt too much can prevent the roots from spreading out the way they need to.
- Mulch the right way.
Mulching is a crucial step; it keeps the moisture where you want it, helps prevent weeds, and a lot more. Latimer is saving this step until the next video, so be sure to tune back in!