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Steps to Take Before Planting Trees in Your Landscape

Planting trees is a rewarding experience for homeowners and the environment. However, planting trees is not as simple as simply digging a hole and putting a tree in it. Proper preparation is essential for the tree’s long-term health and growth.

Some prepping tips before planting trees include:

Selecting the Right Tree

Selecting the right tree for your landscape is essential. Also, choosing a tree that is well-suited for your climate and soil type is crucial. Consider the tree’s mature size, growth rate, and potential hazards, such as weak branches or invasive roots. Consult with a local arborist for advice on tree selection.

Preparing the Site

Before planting a tree, it is important to prepare the planting site. If the soil is compacted, aerate it by digging holes or tilling. This will help the tree roots penetrate the soil more easily. If the soil is poor, add organic matter such as compost, peat moss, or well-rotted manure. This will improve the soil’s structure, fertility, and drainage.

Digging the Hole

The size and depth of the planting hole are critical for the tree’s success. The root flare, which is the point where the trunk widens at the base, should be at or slightly above ground level. This will prevent the tree from sinking or being planted too deeply, which can lead to root rot, suffocation, or girdling.

Planting the Tree

After digging the hole, carefully remove the tree from the container. If the roots are circling the root ball, gently tease them apart with your fingers or a knife. Place the tree in the hole, ensuring it is straight and centered. Slowly fill the hole, lightly tamping down the soil to remove air pockets. Water the tree thoroughly, and add a layer of mulch around the base, but not touching the trunk.

Watering and Fertilizing

Watering is crucial for the first few years of a tree’s life, especially during dry spells. Deep watering once a week is better than frequent shallow watering, as it encourages deeper root growth. Fertilizing is also important, but too much can harm the tree. Use a slow-release fertilizer or compost in the spring, and avoid fertilizing in the fall or winter.

Protecting the Tree

To protect your tree, do the following:

  • Regularly monitor the tree for signs of stress.
  • Prune any dead or damaged branches.
  • Use stakes or guy wires to support the tree, if necessary.
  • Avoid mowing or trimming around the tree’s base.


By following these tips, you can ensure your tree gets off to a healthy start and grows strong for many years to come. Remember to reach out to an arborist for assistance. Contact the team at Eastern Tree Pros in Greenville, NC for tree trimming and pruning.