How to Plant a Mature Tree
This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook shares his secrets for planting a large tree
1. Use a small sledgehammer to tap a rebar or wood stake into the ground to indicate the center of the tree hole.
2. Extend a tape measure out from the stake equal to the radius of the tree hole.
3. Hold a can of line-marking spray paint near the end of the tape measure, then walk around the stake while spraying a circle onto the ground.
4. Use a pointed spade to cut along the spray-painted circle, slicing through grass and roots.
5. Bring in a track excavator to dig the tree hole.
6. Have a hydraulic tree spade set the tree into the hole.
7. Shovel dirt into the hole all around the tree spade.
8. Use a garden hose to fill the hole with water, then slowly retract the tree spade.
9. Cut the twine wrapped around the tree branches.
10. Rake the soil smooth around the tree, creating a small berm along the low end, if necessary, to contain water.
11. Sprinkle some granular root stimulant onto the soil around the tree, then rake it in and thoroughly soak the area with water.