How to plant a tree

Following the correct planting procedure is essential for a healthy and vigour of a tree. We have vast experience in planting all types and sizes of tree in every possible situation and condition. We strongly recommend that you take advantage of our experienced staff for piece of mind.

However, if you have experience in this field and do want to plant your own tree then there are several factors that need to be considered. The following guidelines will ensure the successful establishment of your tree.


Ensure that you have all of the necessary planting equipment to hand. This includes:

  • Tape measure
  • Marker paint
  • Shovel/ pick axe or preferably a digger but depends on the size of the tree, soil conditions, access etc.
  • Boards to protect the area around the tree pit
  • Appropriate compost
  • Slow release fertiliser
  • Irrigation pipe
  • Stakes and tree ties
  • Hammer and nails
  • Brush


The size of the tree pit will depend on the size of the tree to be planted. As a rule of thumb, the tree pit should be 50% larger than the rootball in width and depth.

  • Correctly position the tree
  • Measure and mark out the square tree pit
  • Board out the area around the tree pit
  • Strip off the grass
  • Dig out the top 6”-8” of good quality topsoil and store by the hole for use when backfilling
  • Poor quality subsoil to be dug out and removed from site
  • Ensure that all soil is dug out to the required depth
  • Fork over the base and sides of the tree pit
  • Considering the finished planting depth, put a layer of compost and slow release fertiliser in the base of the tree pit to ensure that the root ball sits just below ground level – This is very important
    * Too deep and the base of the trunk can rot and cause poor health and failure
    * Too shallow and essential roots above ground will be lost and become more susceptible to wind damage and tilt
  • Place the tree, centrally in the planting pit, selecting the best side
  • Backfill the sides with a mix of compost and soil and firm up, just enough for the tree to stand upright
  • Install the perforated irrigation pipe around the root ball
  • Stake and tie the tree (see Tree Stabilisation)
  • Backfill the tree pit with more compost and the remaining soil up to the original ground level
  • Clear away the soil immediately around the base of the trunk