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How to Plant a Tree

November 9th, 2011 Gardening

Trees are one of the best additions to any yard and the investment can last a lifetime. Here are some tips from The Home Depot and TreeHelp.com to help you get the most out of your trees.

The most important thing to keep in mind before you plant a tree is how big it's expected to grow, as this will affect where you put it. Most trees come with labels that tell you how wide and tall it will grow, so you can plan your placement accordingly. Be sure to keep it far away from houses, power lines and other structures so that the mature tree won't be disturbed. Try to keep it away from other trees as well, otherwise it might grow leaning away from them in order to get more light. Fall is the best time to plant a tree, but it can be done in the spring. Just avoid planting on hot, sunny days.

The width of the hole that you make should be at least three times the diameter of the root ball or the spread of the roots. It's important not to make the hole too deep, as roots won't get enough oxygen to grow. It's also essential to make the hole wide enough because narrow holes don't let the roots expand properly.

Remove any burlap, string or twine that is around the bottom of your tree. If the roots are clumped up, like when you take them out of a container, loosen them with your fingers or slice through the outer roots with a trowel. Line the hole with some peat moss or compost, then place the tree inside. Make sure the soil level is the same as it was in the container, if there was one. Create a small mound around the tree to create a moat which will hold water, then water it well. Finish it off with a 2 or 3 inch layer of mulch.