How to Plant and Care for a Tree

Here are planting instructions, watering and care instructions for your trees.

Watering Instructions:

It is important that the tree is not over watered or under watered.  The tree ball should be watered thoroughly (approximately 20 gallons, or 80 Litres) approximately once a week.  Check by probing 5 to 6 inches deep into the soil to see if it is moist or wet.  If it is still wet, delay watering.  Rain may not penetrate an established lawn, depending on the drainage etc., so the tree should be checked to see that it is receiving adequate water.  Tree roots also need air and this is why they need to dry somewhat between waterings.  Over watering or piling soil against the trunk will kill a tree.  It may take up to 3 years of supplemental watering to establish a tree. We cannot be held responsible for plant material that does not grow as it is subject to conditions beyond our control.

One big mistake made when planting new trees is planting them too deep. Whether in a wire basket, or a pot; all trees when started are planted the proper depth in the soil. When you replant them in your yard you do not want to add soil on top of the root ball. By adding extra soil around the trunk of the tree you can cause trunk rot which in turn would effect the tree negatively.

The following pictures have been supplied to help you better understand how to properly plant a tree.

Also check out this link for more information on tree planting


“Topping a tree” is a mistaken concept. Trees can be headed back when younger or reduced and balanced by skillful pruning techniques employed by arborists. However, Topping leads to hazardous structure and is generally unhealthy for the tree as it stresses the tree out.

When pruning a tree it is not necessary to put any sealer on the newly cut branch. As long as you make your cut properly the tree will heal itself and will not be effected by any diseases. The best way to ensure you are pruning properly is google ” How to Prune a Tree”. The important thing to remember is not to leave any stubs.

When you damage the roots of a tree it takes away a portion of the trees ability to take up the right amount of nutrients it needs to create the energy the tree needs.

Avoid typing ropes or wires around the trunk or tree branches for example to hang a bird house, swing, or even lights. This however if left for a period of time, even as short as a year, can be detrimental to a tree. A tree will not eventually just break whatever has been tied around it. It will try to grow around it. This causes girdling and creates a weak area in the tree. This weak area could be the cause of a branch breaking of or maybe even the whole tree falling over. It is best to not tie things to your tree and if you put lights on it to take them off every year.

Pictures below are more example of girdling.

Think long term when deciding what tree to plant and the planting location. The tree should not have to be modified as it grows due to space limitations. Ensure that the space that the tree will occupy when the tree reaches maturity is suitable and canopy spread cannot be altered in the future without great risk and expense.

Tree roots require air and we discourage the use of weed barriers such as fabric or plastic over the base of the tree. Our pine spruce bark mulch is the best natural mulch on top of the rootball . The mulch provides humus , keeps the soil surface permeable for air and water absorption and it reduces weed growth. Occasional mulch top ups every few years refreshes the landscape and is the best way to keep the soil and trees healthy.

After a tree has been planted or for established trees it is important that the grade is maintained . Drainage needs to be considered so that the trees roots are not saturated. It is a serious hazard to place additional soil over top of the existing rootball (for example a ring of Allan blocks and then 5″ of soil ). This could lead to collar rot and eventual failure of the tree. This is a common cause of tree failures.