How to Plant a Tree

Learn the best practices in tree planting in our step-by-step guide. Follow along and in five simple steps, you’ll have your tree planted in your backyard in no time!


Skill
Intermediate
Time
Few Hours
Cost
Less Than $500

What You Need for This Project

Consider This


Keep in mind that some zoning and neighbourhood associations have rules about where and what you can plant. Also consider right-of-way and property lines.



How to Plant a Tree

  1. 1

    Selecting a Tree

    Select a tree that fits your yard, as well as your needs. Consider its mature size, the shade it might cast on existing flowerbeds, and any nearby power lines or paved areas its branches and roots may disturb.

    Note: Before digging, be sure to contact your local utility company to mark gas lines, water pipes, or underground cables.

  2. Steps:

  1. 2

    Dig

    Dig a hole as deep as the tree's root ball and twice as wide. Try excavating soil onto a tarp to protect your lawn throughout the planting process.

  2. Steps:

  1. 3

    Loosen the Roots

    Remove the tree from the container by cutting it on two sides. Hold the tree by the root ball and place it in the hole. Gently loosen the roots to help them grow out. Make sure that the trunk is straight, and the top of the root crown is even with the ground.

  2. Steps:

  1. 4

    Fill the Hole

    Fill the hole, keeping the flare exposed. Add a ring of mounded soil 12 to 18 inches out from the trunk, creating a moat so water can soak into the roots.

  2. Steps:

  1. 5

    Mulch & Water

    Mulch with shredded bark, pine straw, or some other organic matter, beginning 3 to 5 in. away from the trunk. Water weekly during the first growing season.

  2. Steps:

Planted tree with mulch around it
Woman watering tree with water hose

How To Terms

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors, or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures.


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