How to plant a tree


5 easy steps for success with your new tree.


Planting a tree can feel like a daunting and difficult task, especially if it is your first time! Tree planting shouldn't be stressful, and by following these steps you will be an expert in no time! Planting a new tree is a time to celebrate and appreciate the nature that you will nurture in your landscape. 

Before you start, it is important that you check with your local utilities to make sure your dig-site is safe. Using Ontario one-call is free, reliable, and the best choice for gardeners who are planting in Ontario. When using contractors and installation teams, this is a mandatory requirement!

Step 1: Choose the right location.

Consider the tree's final size, as well as it's sunlight and soil requirements. This will affect your planting location. When planting close to hard structures like fences or buildings, leave enough space around the tree to make sure that these structures won't impede the roots or canopy of the tree as it grows. 

Search for your tree's information in our online catalogue!


Step 2: Dig your planting hole.

Once you've selected the right location, free of any wires or pipes, it's time to start digging! The hole must be sized correctly for the tree's current root ball, approximately double the width of the container that the tree is in. Plant your tree at the same depth as the container, or slight higher. If you bought a tree from us, you can use this guide if you are unsure how big your planting hole should be! Leave the soil you remove when digging the hole beside the planting area. 


Step 3: Plant your tree!

It is also important to consider how your tree has been potted. All trees in plastic pots need to be removed from their containers before planting. If your tree's root ball has been planted in burlap or a peat pot, then you should actually plant the whole container, with some slits made to the burlap or peat pot to help the roots break through the bio-degradable materials.

Trees in plastic pots

Trees in Burlap

Trees in Peat Pot


Remove entire root ball and soil mix from plastic container. 

Place tree in planting hole. 


Using garden shears or a safety knife, cut slits into the bottom of the burlap. Place entire burlap-root ball in planting hole.

Cut away strings and relax the burlap near the trunk.

Using garden shears or a safety knife, cut slits into the bottom of the peat pot. Place the entire pot into the planting hole.

Cut away most of the pot material from the top of the pot. 

Step 4: Encourage strong root growth

By adding bone meal, transplant fertilizer, or mycorrhizal to your planting mix, your tree will have a better transition from nursery pot to established planting. Place your tree in the centre of the planting hole.

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Step 5: Fill in the hole, and water, water, WATER!

Use a mix of soil from the planting hole and good quality planting mix. Tamp the soil firmly to remove large air pockets. Water the tree well once planted to allow the soil to settle and eliminate any remaining air pockets. Water deeply at least once a week for the remainder of the season, right up until the frost. You won't need to fertilize your tree the first year of planting, just remember to keep watering it!