Planting a Tree in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Beyond

Moon Valley Nursery Serves Customers in Florida and Texas

Planting a tree in California should be a fun-filled exercise. Moon Valley Nursery can help. Once you understand when to plant a tree to give it the best chance of surviving, you can begin thinking about planting methods. Fortunately, there are many ways to plant a tree, and the process doesn’t take long. Please note, many local laws require homeowners to contact their utility company before planting to make sure they will not disrupt their operations. Even if your state doesn’t require notification, we recommend doing so. We will cover three standard tree planting methods, the benefits, and how to make your tree planting adventure a success.

The Burlap Sack Method: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls

Many trees come with a burlap sack tied around the root. You should never bury the bag because it will keep the roots from growing into the ground properly. The sack is only there for transportation purposes. Anyone planting a tree with a burlap sack should expect the process to take at least an hour. Ask Moon Valley Nursery about whether you should plant in the fall or spring. Your region plays a significant role in the best time to plant. Follow these steps, and you’ll ensure a healthy and happy tree:

  1. Never move your tree by the branches or the trunk. Instead, grab a helper and transport the tree to the planting spot by rolling it or carrying the tree by the root ball. 
  2. Dig a saucer-shaped hope in the ground. Measure the root ball’s depth and width. You want the hole to be as deep and twice as wide.
  3. Planting your tree too deep is a common mistake. You can avoid it by positioning the tree so the root flare – where the roots meet the trunk – is at or slightly above the ground. Make sure to compact the soil, so the tree doesn't sink under its weight.
  4. Next, you need to remove the sack. Cut the twine and remove the burlap around the trunk base and on top of the root ball. It can be challenging to tell the difference between synthetic and organic material, so take your time. 
  5. Pay attention to the size of the root ball compared to the rest of the tree. You might need to stabilize the tree with stakes for support for around a year.
  6. Some trees include a wire cage. You should remove at least the upper third of the cage.
  7. When you begin refilling the hole, it is crucial to hold the tree trunk upright. This is where a helper comes in handy. Once filled, densely pack the soil, taking care to remove lumps and air pockets.
  8. We recommend adding two to three inches of mulch around the base of the tree. Make sure to water after.

How to Plant a Potted Tree

If the tree arrives in a pot, you’ll need to take extra care while planting it. While transporting a tree in a pot provides numerous advantages, things can go wrong in the planting process. We want to help our customers succeed in their planting adventure. If you have a tree in a pot, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare for the tree planting process by watering the pot. Do this to reduce stress on the tree when you remove it from the pot. We recommend watering at least an hour before you begin to allow the soil to absorb the water.
  2. Once soaked, move the tree to where you will plant it. Grab someone to help you because you should always carry a potted tree by the pot, not the branches or trunk.
  3. Dig a hole. It should go as deep as the pot's full height and be at least three times as wide to allow maximum root growth.
  4. You’ll now see why we recommend watering the tree. Lie the pot and tree on the side. You should be able to gently pull the tree from the pot without damaging it. Support the trunk while you perform this task.
  5. Take a look at the roots. If there are squishy, dead, or tangled roots, make vertical cuts in the root ball's sides. Then cut an X shape at the bottom. This will loosen them. Try to straighten any roots you can.
  6. Position the root flare (where the roots meet the trunk) at or slightly above ground level.
  7. While holding the tree upright, begin refilling the hole. Once you do so, make sure the soil is compacted and firm. Then add two to three inches of mulch and water.

How to Grow a Beautiful Tree from a Sapling

Planting from sapling is another popular option. Many of the steps are similar to working with a burlap-sack or pot. However, the sapling is incredibly fragile. Therefore, you should take the utmost caution to avoid damaging your tree before it goes in the ground. The steps are relatively straightforward:

  1. Dig the hole, so it is as deep as the root system and four times as wide.
  2. Remove leaves, twigs, and other organic matter from the hole.
  3. Make sure the root flare is at or slightly above ground level.
  4. Be sure to keep the tree upright as you refill the hole.
  5. Add three inches of mulch and water.

The Tree Planting Process for Commercial Clients

Planting trees should be a rewarding experience for the whole family. But we encourage commercial clients to rethink their landscaping appears and what kind of long-term investments they can make in how their property looks. A line of lushly-grown and beautiful trees provides plenty of shade for breaks. It helps entice customers to your storefront or office. More importantly, planting trees makes a positive impact on the environment, something every corporation can take pride in.

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