gardening tips

The 101 of Tree Planting

If you are on PEI, you know we need to plant trees. It might be that you have a lot of open space due to Hurricane Fiona or perhaps you have a new lot and just need a tree or two. Maybe you are joining in with the climate change campaign and know that planting a tree is important for the world we all depend on.

Trees give us joy. In summer they cool our yard while adding privacy. In spring they add beautiful blooms with flowering trees such as crabapple, magnolia, or chestnut. And in fall they offer us our wonderful autumn colours.

But before you can enjoy a tree, you must plant it. So how, exactly, do you plant a tree? Get started with our 101 on tree planting!

1. Choosing a tree you will enjoy and that will work in your space is important. A tree should have proper light, drainage, and environmental conditions to be successful.

2. Once a location is determined and the tree is located, you should dig a hole that is 2x the root ball/pot and only slightly below the depth of the root ball. (A tree likes to choose its depth where everything it needs will be present.)

3. Remove the tree from the pot and place the tree in the hole. When you remove the tree from the pot, look at the roots, and if it seems root-bound (circular roots), cut or slice the roots to loosen them so it moves out of the circular pattern. (If the tree is wrapped in burlap, place the tree and burlap in the hole, loosen the burlap and tuck the burlap edges into the ground as you fill the hole.)

4. Add enhanced soil such as multi-mix, triple mix, well-composted manure, or potting mix to the hole around the roots. This will aid in adding water-holding capacity, and long-term nutrition. Tamp down with your feet to hold the plant firm and straight. One can add the sod upside down in a circle around the tree to form a barrier to water loss. Bark can be added up to 2” thick to prevent trimmer damage, and aid in storing the water as it is applied and allows water to move slowly into the ground.

5. Add stakes to keep your new tree in an upright state while it finds its new home, it is important that your tree not be damaged by the wire/rope you could use rubber such as a piece of old hose to protect the tree, perhaps stockings/pantyhose strips.

6. Water the tree well: 5 gallon/20 liters with transplanter fertilizer. The middle number helps with root development such as 10-52-10. Do this when you plant and again 4 to 6 weeks later.

7. Water when needed. Each week the tree needs 1” of rain; consider a rain gauge to know if you need to water your newly planted trees. Do not water more than once a week.

8. Today is the best day to plant a tree.

Did you know?

Planting a tree can:

  • nourish us
  • create shade
  • create beauty
  • provide habitat and food for wildlife
  • grow fruit and nuts
  • improve the soil
  • improve the land’s capacity to adapt to climate change

Trees increase in their value as they age, increasing carbon sequestration, increasing shade, and increasing space for animals.

Walking among trees makes us happy! Forest walking can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and increase our energy by decreasing our stress hormones.

Stop by Island Pride Garden Co where we can help with supplies or advice for the best tree planting and growth. We can help you find the tree you need.

what’s growing?
PEI flowers, soil, seeds, gardening