How to Plant a Tree

I thought it would be nice to learn how to properly plant a tree. So, I asked my friend, arborist, Gary Overton, to help me show you how to plant a tree, the right way. This is something anyone can learn.  The best time to plant a tree is the spring or fall. Fall is usually even better than spring because in most places temperatures are moderate and there is plenty of rain.

The only type of tree that I don’t already have in my garden is a Japanese Maple – so today that is what Gary and I are going to plant.

The tree that I have is already 3-4 years old and in a container. Gary says he prefers transplanting plants from containers because it avoids root shock. This Japanese maple is a Dwarf variety, a Crimson Queen and it has the potential to grow to be between 8 and 12 feet tall. The Japanese Maple can handle some morning sun but it actually likes shade.

The first thing you do when planting a tree is to remove all the ground debris so none of it will fall into the hole that you are digging.  The hole should be about three times the width of the whole tree root mass and twice as deep. Gary suggests using bone meal fertilizer which is a great source of phosphorous (which promotes growth and flowering) and chicken manure pellets. Both organic and sustainable sources of nutrients for plants.

When taking the plant out of the container, hold it over the hole so that any loose soil will go right into the hole. Once the plant is out of the container and in the hole, you just fill the hole with loosened soil, like we do here about half way.  While the roots of the tree are still exposed, it is a great idea for you to thoroughly water the hole and roots of the tree.      Finish filling the hole with soil and water throughly again.  All that’s left to do is wait and admire the beauty of it all.