Planting a tree is not as simple as going to the local nursery, picking out the one you like best, and shoving it in a hole. The labor involved in tree planting isn’t all physical—successfully planting and growing a tree involves some mental taxation as well. Learn the right type of tree to plant, your local regulations for planting trees, and a few other pertinent details so you can pick the perfect tree.
Choosing a tree to plant is the fun part. Make sure you pick a tree that is well-suited for your hardiness zone, produces colors you would like to look at for a long time to come, and has a maintenance level you can tolerate.
The experts at Purdue agree that small trees benefit from autumn’s cooler temperatures, ideal humidity, and mild precipitation. A tree can become stressed during planting, so gentle conditions are important.
It is best to plant bare-root trees, such as the apple or plum, in late winter during the tree’s dormancy.
Larger trees, as well as many flowering and fruit-bearing trees prone to damage from the cold, do better when planted in the spring. Overall, spring is a good choice for planting most varieties of trees, but the unpredictable rainfall could put root systems in danger—particularly in areas prone to wash out.
You can plant trees in the summertime as long as you provide plenty of water; however this is not the most favorable planting season.
While some trees do better in an autumn or spring planting, many trees have the potential to thrive in nearly any planting condition. Using good practices, such as protecting the tree from harsh weather, ensuring proper watering and drainage, and planting in well-aerated soil will help your tree succeed.
Keep your municipality in mind before you buy that monster tree. Some cities and villages have restrictions on the type of tree you plant—and even where you plant it. For example:
If you live in the unincorporated area of a city, you may have more freedom to choose what trees to plant, but check county ordinances before you head to the nursery.
If you are planting your own trees, you will need the right tools for the job. Costs vary by the quality of equipment you choose. Lower quality, less expensive tools are just fine for planting a single tree. If you want to fill in your acreage, invest in tools that will withstand a bit of punishment.
|Equipment and Tools||I want to plant 1 Tree||I want to plant more than 1 tree|
Has a poking end and a prying end to loosen dirt and pull up rocks
Diamond Point Shovel
Use to simultaneously break up and move soil
Tile Spade / Planting Shovel
Has a narrow blade to start your planting hole
Auger (rental cost/day)
A drill for dirt available in different sizes; you probably won’t rent this for just a single hole
Think you are ready to plant a tree? Pick out a climate-tolerant tree for your area, look over your own city’s tree planting regulations, and grab your tile spade. Choose your tree wisely and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for a long time to come.
Select a service to begin