February 2020

Tree Planting

Determine the following:

  • Any underground or overhead services that will be badly affected by your tree.
  • When your tree is 20 years old or more how much shade will it produce. Big leaves will provide more shade, small leaves dappled shade.
  • Is your soil suitable for the tree you have chosen. Ph, depth, loam or clay etc
  • Will your tree disturb your neighbours?
  • You can plant most trees within 5 feet of your building provided you don’t have a wet crawl space or basement.


What type of soil do you have, loam, sandy, clay?

Some trees like a wet spot and some prefer a dry soil.

To determine which tree is suitable examine the conditions where you want to plant and research trees that grow in this type of environment.

  • Do you want to provide shade to your house or your property?
  • How big will it get; will adjacent trees grow faster and bigger?
  • Have you considered a Food tree?
  • Deciduous or evergreen?


  • Dig where you will least disturb the roots of other trees and place the dug soil on a tarp.
  • Dig a hole that will allow your tree to be planted at the same depth at which it grew. Place a stick across the hole to help you place the tree bowl at the correct depth.
  • Your hole should be thrice as wide as it’s depth ,to allow the roots to spread out.
  • Use mostly native soil. If you plant a tree in clay you must back fill with clay or you may be creating a swimming pool for you tree roots.
  • Put stakes on two sides of your tree before you backfill.
  • Check from all sides to see if you have placed the tree upright. As you are filling keep checking.
  • Half fill your hole with water to see how quickly it drains. If it takes a long time to drain make sure you are plating a tree that likes its roots wet (like a willow).
  • Remove the tree from its pot or wrapping trim the exposed roots and spread them.
  • Backfill a little then water some then backfill a little more then backfill and so on. Backfill to the level of the surrounding soil.
  • Gently tamp the soil around the newly planted tree with your foot to reduce air pockets around the roots.
  • Mulch with leaves, or suitable organic material, forming a watering ring around the tree.
  • Water thoroughly at a slow rate for approximately one hour.
  • Tie your tree to the stakes with material that will not fit tightly to the tree trunk.
  • Place a protective sleeve around the base of the tree trunk.
  • Water weekly in the summer months unless you have planted in a low area that easily collects water.


  • Your tree will arrive in a dormant state without soil and must be planted as soon as possible.
  • Remove any paper stuck to the tree roots then soak the roots for one or two hours before planting.
  • If you have a fruit tree,with a grafted root, plant so the graft (bump in the lower trunk) is 2” above the surrounding soil.
  • Plant as explained above for a potted tree, except put a hill of some loose soil in the bottom of your hole and spread the roots over it.

    • Water for the first two years in the summer months and in droughts.
    • Clip away damaged or diseased branches close to the trunk.
    • Watch for infestations of pests that you type of tree is susceptible to.
    • If you need to trim your tree back do not cut any more than a quarter of its branches a year. Trimming should be limited to fall and winter months.
    • Look for cracked trunks. This can happen in the winter when one side of the tree is getting a lot of sun.
    • If you tree is carrying a heavy load of ice or snow try to remove the burden as soon as possible . Leaving ice or snow on boughs can permanently damage the form of your tree.
    • Do not rake up leaves in the fall , leaves provide nourishment for your tree and habitat for a lot of wildlife.