How to Plant a Small Tree
Boost your curb appeal with a handsome addition to your landscape
weighs more than 100 pounds, hire
a landscape contractor or get a helper.
Q: I'd like to purchase a small tree. What's the proper way to plant it?
—Maria Costa, Holbrook, Mass.
Kim Hren, Groundworks Landscaping Inc., replies: The hardest part about planting any tree is moving it. A 6- to 8-footer with its root ball could easily weigh 200 pounds or more. If you plan on planting it yourself, have the garden center either help you pick a size that's easier to handle or deliver it to your house right where you want to plant it.
Make sure the site you select is at least 15 feet from the house, power lines, and other trees. And before you start digging, be sure to call 811. You'll be put in touch with a local service company that marks the location of any buried utility lines free of charge, saving you from any costly surprises.
Once those details are taken care of, proceed with the steps on the next page. Your few hours of labor will pay off handsomely with a boost in curb appeal that will only get better with time.
Pictured: Landscapers Andy Silich and Randy Leland of Groundworks Landscaping secure the tree in its hole. Get a helper for any tree weighing more than 100 pounds.
Dig the Hole
Dig a hole 1 foot in diameter for every 1 inch of trunk diameter, and 2 inches shallower than the distance from the bottom of the root ball to the root flare, where the trunk emerges from the ball. If you can't see the flare, pull back some of the burlap. Keep track of the depth with a shovel handle laid across the hole and a measuring tape.