The following is a step-by-step guide of planting a tree:


    1. Select a tree that will grow well within the local environmental conditions your property will provide, including both vertical and horizontal space for the canopy, as well as plenty of room for root growth.
    2. Find the topmost root growing from the trunk, and remove any soil above that point across the entire top surface of the root ball. 
    3. Measure from the top most root to the base of the root ball and dig the hole no deeper than this depth. Do not plant the root ball too deep. It is better for the root ball to be too high in the hole rather than too deep. The hole should also be three times the diameter of the root ball. Ideally the planting hole should be bowl shaped with sloping sides. Remove any burlap, wire, nylon twine, or strapping from the tree. 
    4. Only prune dead or broken branches and crushed or girdling roots. Removing even a small portion of the healthy canopy slows root growth and delays establishment.
    5. Girdling roots should be teased away from the ball and straightened out in the hole. If this is not possible then they should be pruned off.
    6. Gently backfill the planting site with the same soil that came out of the hole. Settle the soil with water as you backfill. Do not add soil amendments or fertilizer to the backfill. Too much nitrogen will burn tender new roots, slowing growth and delaying establishment.
    7. Form a three inch high-soil berm around the outer perimeter of the planting site to help water infiltrate the soil.
    8. Mulch the entire surface over the planting site with a three to four inch deep layer of organic mulch such as: wood chips, pine bark, leaf litter, clean hay, pine needles, or shredded wood. Mulch should be kept one to three inches away from the trunk to avoid problems with the trunk staying too wet.
    9. Keep the tree well watered for at least the first year. Water every day for the first two weeks, then every other day for two months, and then once a week until the tree is well established. Use two gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter.
    10. Protect the trunk from animals by using a wire mesh cage that is at least 4 feet in diameter and 4 feet tall that is staked to the ground. Deer and livestock will eat your tree without protection. Avoid weed eater damage around trunk of all trees.


    For more information on selecting and planting a tree, visit our Texas tree planting site.

    Watch a video on How to Plant a Tree.