Handle with Care: Tips for Trees Before Planting

Tree Care

Handle with Care: Tips for Trees Before Planting

By Sheereen Othman | June 15, 2018

You’ve done your homework. You found the right tree for the right place. Your planting site is ready, and you have all the tools you need. Now what? Planting a tree should be easy (and fun). Even though trees are hardy creatures, they still require care when taking them home from a nursery or picking one up at a tree giveaway.

Ask an Arborist: How do I Choose a Nursery Tree?

Here are 6 tips to keep in mind when you bring a new tree home.

  1. Don’t pick a tree up by the trunk. Always carry or lift it by the rootball or container.
  2. Tie trees securely to your car so that they don’t roll around. Rolling trees have the potential to crack the root ball and break roots.
  3. If the root ball of your tree is wrapped in plastic*, don’t leave it in the sun and let the roots overheat. Keep it in the shade or take the plastic off.

*Sometimes nurseries wrap root balls in plastic to prevent moisture loss, remember to remove the plastic before planting. This goes for burlap wrapped trees as well.*

  1. It is best to plant trees the same day. The longer you wait the higher the chances of stress are on your tree.

Ask an Arborist: How do I Plant Bare-root Trees?

  1. When you plant, loosen the soil around the roots to allow for oxygen. Trees need water and air, and if you keep the root ball intact, you increase the chances of suffocating your tree.
  2. Plant your tree so that the root flare is at ground level. Dig a hole at the same depth as the root ball, you don’t want to bury the roots.

Some of the most common reasons for poor tree health happen because of planting a tree too deep, underwatering, or overwatering. Remember to mulch and water your tree after planting. Mulch helps trees retain moisture in the summer and insulate soil in the winter. It also helps prevent the spread of pests.

Ask an Arborist: Why do we Mulch?

Tree CareTree Planting



Sheereen Othman

Communications Associate, Marketing Communications

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