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Oct 15

Tree Installation - Technique

Posted on October 15, 2018 at 9:05 AM by Colin Heyne

technique - hole prep


First, call USA North before you dig to check for underground utilities. Second, determine tree hole location. Third, dig the hole as deep as the root ball is in the container. Remember to dig the hole two to three times as wide as the container. Fourth, tamp down loose dirt in the hole. Last, score sides of the hole with a shovel or pickaxe.

technique - untangle


First, find and expose the first woody root on the root flair. Next, lay the tree on its side near the hole and loosen the soil in container by gently kneeling on the container. Last, untangle the root ball and cut major circling roots with a sharp pair of pruners.

technique - check hole


Begin by placing the rootball in the center of the hole. Next, you will want to check the depth using a stake or straight object long enough to span the hole to level the first woody root with the surrounding grade, or slightly above.

technique - backfill

Be mindful to adjust height as necessary, by digging or refilling, and tamp loose soil. At this point you should consider the canopy orientation. Finally, backfill the soil while holding roots outward and gently tamping down loose soil (Do not cover the top of the rootball).

technique - staking


Step one, remove the nursery stake and backfill the hole left by the stake. It is important to not leave any air pockets in the soil near the rootball. After you have filled in any holes, you can install the new staking system. Staking system installation may vary: make sure to follow the instructions provided with you system.

technique - water


One of the best things you can do for your tree long-term is to create a firm watering basin approximately 12-18” from the trunk. This will act like a bowl that channels all the water directly into the rootball and encourages downward root growth. After you have planted the tree make sure to water it immediately to minimize any transplant shock. Finally, add 2-4” of mulch, staying 3” away from trunk. Now that the planting is done, enjoy your tree.