How to Plant a Tree
Roger Cook's step-by-step guide to getting your new tree off to a healthy start
The simple act of planting a tree is a gift of nearly immeasurable value. A tree will add natural beauty and cool shade to your property, and life-giving oxygen to the planet. And if that weren't enough, a tree is a gift that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
However, for a tree to survive long enough to reach full maturity, it must get a healthy head start with a proper planting. To learn the correct way to plant a young tree, we turned to our resident expert, This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook.
Here, Roger shares his secrets for each step of the planting process from digging the hole to watering techniques for proper hydration. And don't miss his comprehensive three-year plan for maintaining a young tree.
Planting a Tree Overview
Planting a tree isn't particularly difficult because you don't need any special tools. With a shovel, tape measure, and garden hose, plus the strength and patience to dig a hole, it should take only a few hours. Planting it right, however, does require some attention to detail. Here, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to add a young shade tree to a sunny front yard.
Surprisingly, tree planting is often done incorrectly, says Roger. "I see improperly planted trees all the time, many of them put in by professional landscapers."
The most common mistake is burying the entire root ball because the hole is too deep. Not watering enough after planting is another common mistake. Roger suggests tying drip- irrigation bags to the tree and refilling them everyday.
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