Tree Planting and Installation


Today there is a lot to know about tree planting and selection in order to gain optimum results, especially under stressful urban conditions. There are four main nursery stocks available to plant they consist of bare root, container, ball and burlap, and tree spade. Each choice has advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Nursery Stock

Bare Root – has no soil, light weight which makes it cheaper and easy to


– tree must be dug and planted while dormant and in seedling stage.

– Roots must be kept cool and moist to prevent drying out.

Container – easily transport large stock trees with root mass intact.

– if in pot to long roots will encircle container and causing

girdling roots. If this is not corrected when planting it will

lead to the tree self destructing due to the tree choking its self.

Ball and Burlap – mechanically dug and wrapped in burlap and twine. Wire

basket used as well.

Tree Spade – large hydraulic spade for large caliper trees, transports and


– stock should be covered during transportation to prevent

drying the root ball  (keep root ball moist) and  stress, PVC

tarps are best.


Planting Depth – not to deep, root ball should be level at base with root

flare even or slightly higher than ground elevation (if in

clay or poor drainage 1 inch higher)

planting Width – 2-3 times the size of root ball at top of hole and sloping

inward to the bottom.

– this encourages stability and better root penetration.

– Majority of new roots are found in the upper 30 cm or 12 inches of root ball.

Backfilling – backfill with existing soil, and lightly tamp with shovel or

water to prevent air pockets as backfilling.

Mulching – multiple effect for trees including: adds nutrients as it

decomposes, week control, helps soil retain moisture.

– mulch no thinker than 10cm 4”, do not put mulch around stem

Staking – allows tree to stay level and should only be on for one year.