Diagram: Six things to know when planting a tree. 1. Call Before you Dig. 2. Handle with care. 3 Digging a Proper Hole. 4. Planting Depth. 5. Filling the hole. 6. Mulch.
Illustration © Arbor Day Foundation

After you have the “right tree” for your location and tools “in the right place,” dig your hole so that the depth is the same as the root ball and 2-3 times wider than the root ball with sloping sides. Gently roll or lift your tree and place it in the middle of the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the soil surface. Remove any twine, burlap and wire from the top half of the ball.

Straighten the trunk and half fill the hole with soil and water. Then, fill the remainder of hole with soil, firming the soil as you go—eliminating air pockets. Create a shallow saucer of soil to hold water and fill the saucer with water. Apply 2-4 inches of wood chip mulch around the saucer without touching the trunk.

Water thoroughly once a week, less if rainy, more if hot and dry, until fall. Trunk wrap may be helpful. Stake only if necessary for one year. At this point only prune off broken or split branches. Some fertilizer may be helpful. We recommend guidelines found in ANSI A 300, Standard or Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody Plant Fertilization guide. After a couple of years, structural pruning is important to direct the future shape of the tree, reduce maintenance, and increase the lifespan of the tree.

Contact us today!

Needing expert tree planting and maintenance advice and live in Kalamazoo, Portage or any other West Michigan County? Contact tree expert Mike Graham with Graham Forestry for best results. Call (269) 207-4176 or email using our online form to schedule your appointment.