Do’s and Don’ts When Planting a Tree

Do’s

  • Planting a tree
  • Do dig the hole the same depth as the rootball
  • Do dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball
  • Do use your native soil when backfilling but you can allow as much as 25% be a soil amendment
  • Do loosen the roots from the sides and bottom (if container grown)
  • Do remove as much of the wire basket and burlap as possible (if balled and burlapped)
  • Do position the tree so it best side faces where its viewed from most
  • Do make sure the tree is straight as you backfill
  • Do mix your soil well, breaking up any large clumps of soil as you backfill
  • Do tamp the soil firmly around the rootball as you plant
  • Do make sure the top of the rootball is level or slightly above the surrounding soil
  • Do water the tree in well once planted. Allow the surrounding soil to become well saturated so water is not wicked away
  • Do mulch around the tree with pine straw or mulch
  • Do prune out any rubbing branches and any branches that are crisscrossing through the tree

 

Don’ts

  • Man-handle the tree. Avoid scratching the bark, sapping limbs, and breaking the root ball apart
  • Don’t use gravel or sand beneath the root ball to improve drainage
  • Don’t leave any burlap, strings, or trunk wraps on the tree
  • Don’t stake the tree unless deemed necessary
  • Don’t leave stakes on a tree for longer than 6 months
  • Don’t mound mulch up high around the trunk
  • Don’t damage the trunk with mower or weedeater
  • Don’t spray the trunk with herbicides
  • Don’t forget about your tree, it needs care
  • Don’t paint over tree wounds or pruning cuts
  • Don’t use any chemical such as insecticides or fungicides without reading and following the directions
  • Don’t clump fertilizer against the base of the tree