How to Plant Trees

How to Plant a Tree | Tree Placement




Balled and Burlapped (B&B) Treeshow to plant a tree

Dig a hole twice the width and equal in depth to the root ball. Remove any wires, and place the tree in the middle of the hole. Remove any burlap without disturbing the root ball. Stabilize the tree with back fill. Add the rest of the soil back in the hole, avoiding air pockets and soil compaction. Water the tree after planting. This new video from Friends of Trees shows how to plant a B&B tree properly--and how to have fun as you plant it.

Containerized Trees

Remove the container from the tree, and dig down to find the top root or root flair. Dig a hole as deep as the distance from the top root to the bottom of the root ball and twice as wide. Gently tickle the roots to loosen them from the soil. If any roots are circling, slice the circling roots with a knife. Place the tree root ball gently in the hole by holding the root ball. Back fill. Avoid air pockets and soil compaction. Water the tree after planting. This video from TreeUtah shows how to plant a containerized tree properly.

Bare-Root Seedlings

Keep the tree’s roots moist until the tree is planted. The hole should be as deep as the longest root and twice as wide as the root cluster. Create a small mound of soil at the base of the hole, place the roots on the mound, and gently add soil back into the hole, avoiding air pockets and compacted soil. Water the tree after planting.




Where to Plant Your Tree


Planting the right tree in the right place is essential if you want to maximize the benefits of trees, such as reduced utility bills, and avoid future interference with foundations, sidewalks, driveways, and fences. If you're planting a street tree with Friends of Trees, we'll have your planting strip inspected, and locations will be marked with white paint on the curb or street. Underground and overhead utilities, street signage and lighting, driveways and other infrustructure will all be taken into account.

If you're planting a tree in your yard, we won't be able to inspect your private property. Use the following guidelines to choose the best planting location in your yard.

Think About Size

It's important to think about the future size of trees at maturity, rather than their size at planting. In narrow, open spaces, plant tall, columnar trees. In wide areas with overhead utility wires, plant smaller, rounder trees. If space is available, it's most beneficial to plant large trees, such as Northwest natives, to maximize benefits such as energy savings, overall tree canopy, and wildlife habitat.

Maximize the Benefits of Your Tree

To provide effective shading of your home, trees should be planted within 30 feet of the home. Plant at least two feet from property lines and five feet from driveways. To maximize summer shade, plant on the west side of the house. If you want to plant for warmth in winter, consider planting a windbreak, such as a row of conifers. Remember that roots, branches, and buildings don’t mix.

Site vs. Species

It’s important to pick your site first and species second. For instance, if you have ample space, it doesn’t make sense to plant a small, ornamental tree. Likewise, if you have a narrow space with overhead utilities present, it doesn’t make sense to plant a large conifer.

Environmental Factors

When selecting your yard tree, it’s a good idea to think about factors such as soil, water, and sunlight requirements. Friends of Trees’ website, local nurseries and arborists, books, and online resources are great sources for specific tree and site-related information.