Planting a tree in your yard can be really exciting! Who knows, maybe one day your grandchild will have a swing hanging from a branch of that very tree. But what is the secret to success when it comes to planting a tree? What are common tree planting mistakes to avoid? We’re glad you asked!

Here at Croft Tree Experts, we have years of experience planting trees successfully for clients across the Ottawa region. Our team of certified arborists recognizes there is a lot to know about successful tree planting, so feel free to look through our list of tips to avoid the most common tree planting mistakes!

Tree Planting Tips!

There are a lot of things to remember when you are performing “tree surgery”! 

It’s always smart to do your research before breaking ground and consult an expert to make sure the job is done properly. We have composed a simple list of tips to help you have a successful tree planting experience.

Planting Too Deep

Among the more common tree planting mistakes that people make when planting a tree in their yard is planting the tree too deep in the ground.

deep dirt hole in backyard

A good rule of (green) thumb when planting a tree is the hole you are planting the tree in should never be deeper than the root ball. Before planting the tree, check where the first lateral roots are in terms of depth in the hole. The lateral roots should always be near surface level!

If you are unsure about the depth of your hole it’s always smart to call a professional arborist to make sure the job is done correctly.

Improper or Lack of Mulching

There is a delicate balance you need to strike when adding mulch under your tree.  Most people tend to over mulch their tree which isn’t good for it, approximately 2-3 inches will suffice!

Something else to keep in mind is to make sure the mulch isn’t piled up against the trunk of the tree creating almost a volcano effect.  This will provide too much moisture for the trunk of the tree and will result in rotting and insect infestation. Make sure your mulch is 3-5 inches from the base of the trunk!

Digging a Hole That Is Too Small

New tree roots can’t grow in compact soil. This is one of the biggest mistakes inexperienced planters make. 

If you only dig a hole the height and width of the root ball, the soil around will be compacted which leaves no room for the roots to grow. The compacted soil will also serve as a water bowl, pooling water around the roots eventually killing your tree.

It will take more time, but dig a hole 2-3 times the width of the root ball to give the new tree room to grow and lay its roots! Make sure to follow best practices when it comes to tasks that should be handled by an arborist. It never hurts to call an expert!

Look For Potbound Roots

When planting a potted tree in your backyard, it’s important to check the roots before purchasing (if possible)!

potbound or rootbound tree

If you notice a large amount of the roots appear to be growing in a swirl, this means the roots of the plant are potbound. Potbound roots are roots on plants that had too much time to grow in the pot, and adapted so they don’t grow away from the plant since there is nowhere to go!

If you plant a tree in the soil with potbound roots, the roots will grow around the tree as opposed to away from the tree, eventually suffocating it. Make sure to know the signs of potbound roots and how you can deal with them before you purchase or plant your tree.

Croft Tree Experts – Ottawa’s Arborist Service Experts!

Croft Tree Experts have been Ottawa’s expert arborists since 2015. Owned by David Koshurba and Kyle Hewitt, with our team of dedicated and highly trained professionals working with us you can rest easy knowing your tree planting, treatment and removals are being performed at the highest quality.

Set your outdoor space up for success with the help of an expert team of arborists! Croft Tree Experts can help with any outdoor tree project, no matter the size. Contact us now to get started!