Best planting practices for trees and shrubs

Fri. Apr. 7, 2017

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Best planting practices for trees and shrubs

We used to tell you to plant trees and shrubs at the same level they came in in their container. The great part about horticulture is that we are continually learning!!  NOW, the best advice is to take a look at those plants.  Turns out that some of those plants come with too much soil on top of their graft of trunk flare.

So, what does that mean?  It means you need to remove that soil and plant the tree or shrub level with where the root flare starts.  The most important roots, those that take up the water, oxygen and nutrients, are in the top 6 inches of soil.

SULIS – Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series, comes from the University of Minnesota.  Click on the link I’ve given you and you’ll have a lot of information about tree planting.  A lot of the info can be used for shrubs too.

planting trees diagram

I recently learned an interesting trick in planting these trees and shrubs.  The hole you dig should be about 3 to even 4 times as wide at the top of the hole tapering down to twice as wide further down.  But here’s the other piece to that – using a mallet take a pole and tap holes into the sides of your hole about 4 inches down and about 6 inches apart, especially if you have compacted soil.  The roots will find the easier way to stretch out into the soil. 

Crabapple - Royal Raindrops 2015

Leif’s crew planted this Royal Raindrops crabapple 3 years ago!  Photo taken in 2015

Check out this video with tree expert Leif Knecht:


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