Proper (Trans)Planting

(Trans)Planting Trees and Shrubs


  • Dig a hole 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball.
  • Hole depth should be 2-3 inches less than the root ball depth, so that the top of the root ball is positioned 2-3 inches above the surrounding finish grade (ground level).
  • CAUTION: Over-digging the depth of the hole, then back-filling, may result in undesired settling.
  • Place plant upright in hole, and start filling around the root ball with existing soil.
  • If B&B, remove burlap from the immediate area around trunk.
  • Continue filling around the root ball a few inches at a time, watering the fill each time to remove any air pockets.
  • Insure that the root ball is adequately watered before finishing.
  • Stake the tree only if it’s on a windy site or a severe slope.
  • Mulch an area at least six feet in diameter around the plant.
  • Do not put over 1 inch of mulch over the top of the root ball.
  • Insure that the plant is adequately watered throughout the year.
  • Start your fertilization program as the roots become established in the fill soil, usually sometime in the Spring if planting was in the Fall or Winter.
  • Remove any nylon (or other) support or stake strapping by the end of the first year.


Diagram for hole, plant depth, mulch