This video is also available in Spanish.
How to plant a tree, illustration by Robert O'brien
Illustration courtesy of Robert O'Brien

Planting Steps

Following these steps will give your tree the best chance of surviving and thriving. All the steps and others are shown in the video.

Prepare the site  

  • Dig hole 2-3 times the width of root ball
  • Dig no deeper than root ball

Prepare the tree

  • Expose root flare (where trunk and root meet)
  • Work roots free, cut off circling roots

Plant the Tree

  • Make sure root flare is above ground

Stake and Tie

  • This supports young trees while they establish roots

Build a Berm and Water

  • Keep soil 12 inches from trunk
  • This will form a basin to hold water


  • 3-5 inches in a circle around the tree
  • Avoid the trunk to prevent decay