A young tree planter

Trees How-To

What you do in a tree’s first few years of life will affect its shape, size, resistance to disease, and even its lifespan.

By following a few key steps, you will help your tree grow up healthy and strong and protect the time and financial investment you put into it.

If you are thinking about adding a tree to your property, consider the following:


  • Think about what you want your tree to provide such as shade, seasonal color or privacy. Your goals may lead you to plant one species or a variety of species.

Planting location

  • Locate and stay clear of utilities.
  • Add distance between existing buildings (10’), sidewalks and patio hardscapes (3’).
  • Plant to add shade. Locate trees on the southeastern and southern side of your home.

Unique growing conditions and needs

  • Ask the nursery attendant if a particular tree species is appropriate for the desired planting location. Plan for its full mature size.

Time of year

  • Note that some tree species have special transplant timing that should be followed. Most trees do well when planted in the spring or fall.
  • Do not plant in the summer months.

Surface type

  • Account for the surface type whether flat or sloped. This will determine how deep you plant the tree and where the trunk flare should sit.

Necessary tools and safety gear

  • You will need a shovel and gloves at a minimum. Be prepared for any situation and secure a pick-axe for tough soil, tarp to place dirt on, bolt cutters to cut wire from ball & burlap trees and a rake or broom to clean up.

Required tree care

Read on to learn how to select, plant and care for trees.