Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to: Plant a Tree

Since our house was new when we bought it, there weren't any tree's or any real greenery besides the lawn. So we threw ourselves a crash course in tree planting. I read tons of articles, books, and of coarse phoned my mother :)

Here's what we've learnt:

~First RESEARCH the tree you want to plant. How close is the tree going to be to your house? Are the roots going to interfere with your foundation? or drainage?
~How tall will the tree be at it's mature height??
~Do you need shade? are you prepared to rake leaves in the fall?
Chances are there is a tree out there to match your needs!

We chose a Dogwood for the front of our house, it's roots are non-invasive and I love the white flowers!

We chose a japanese maple for the other side, I love the color of the leaves and the shade it provides our front porch.

We also planted an 8foot ceder just for the year round greenery it provides.
An apple tree and pear tree grace the backyard, we chose those for shade, privacy and fruit.

And our most recent aquisition a Maple tree for the side of our house!! Here's why it was more then neccessary to plant a Maple tree outside our staircase window:
1) it is a west facing window so we needed a little shade
2) I didn't want to hang blinds because I would miss all the light!
3) This is the view from the window . . .

We look directly into our neighbors garage, the Maple will solve all these problems and all for the low low price of $40!

Here's the HOW TO:

1. Dig a hole twice the size of the bucket it came in

2. Water the hole and wait until it absorbs
3. Sprinkle bone meal into the hole, (we used organic bone meal from Walmart, you can get a big bag for less than $7)
4. Loosen the root ball
5. Place tree in hole
6. Fill with dirt

7. Top with mulch

8. Stake the tree only if it's tall enough to need it, short trees don't need staking. Also, the point of staking is to help the tree stay straight, not to limit all movement. If you stake a tree and don't allow it to move naturally in the breeze it won't grow strong roots! (This stake is too tall, we cut it down after I took the pic, the stake should be around half the height of the tree to 2/3rds the height of the tree).



  1. Great post! I would advise you not to plant trees too deep though. The root flare should be exposed at the dirt line - if the tree looks like a telephone pole growing out of the ground, it's planted too deep. If you think that's the case, fix it now before it settles in. Loving your blog...

  2. It's funny, we live in an old house and we are having to take down a couple of trees.... we had eight trees on our property when we moved in! 1 80 foot douglas fir, 80 foot cedars, 1 laburnum and now we have to take down a beech. Please don't hate me :-o we had to replace all of them because that is the rule in vancouver. The beech roots were taking over our 80 year garage and we plan on building a new one this summer but we are replacing it with a magnolia tree. I love japanese maples too. I looks like a fun project !!! Well done.

  3. We have a small front yard that has no trees. Our home is over 80 years old and it seems odd to me that in all those years, no one ever planted one out front. All we got when we bought the place was overgrown, weedy beds and a bad lawn.
    We are thinking about moving but if we don't, we definitely want to put a pretty yet small tree in the front. So thanks for the great info on planting trees! :)
    Have a great day.

  4. We recently had 3 large Ficus trees removed (very invasive roots!). In the front yard, we planted a birch tree. In the backyard we planted 1 valencia orange and 1 tangerine tree. We also planted a pomegranate tree in our side yard. I can't wait for all the yummy fruit!

  5. Have 2 huge trees in the front yard with incredibly invasive roots! Yikes. The root systems are affecting our lawn, etc. We love how wonderful these trees are and the shade they create, but need to address the lawn problems caused. Enjoy your plantings.
    P.S. Love your rain boots :)

    O from

  6. i love japanese maples, which i think i already said in a previous post. what a beautiful mulch shovel you have too! great educational post, every homeowner deals with tree issues once or twice in their life

  7. Isn't the tree too close to the foundation of your house?? Just curious, we had to take a few trees out because of that problem before they got too big and caused issues with the foundation.

  8. Hi Renae!
    I totally understand the concerm, we were super careful in picking a variety, without an aggressive root system. This variety of Maple, only grows to about 25 feet tall, and their roots are not aggressive, meaning they won't affect our foundation. I was very concerned about that, so we researched a lot and came up with this dwarfed Maple.
    hope that helps

  9. You are going to have some beautifully mature trees someday! Great post. :)

  10. When we first purchased our home we only had one large tree in the front yard, we planted several (maples, pear, crap apple, leyland cypress) and now it is a forest (20 years later). We love all the shade and privacy.



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