How to Plant a New Tree in a Removed Tree Location


Trees, especially large ones, fulfill a number of important purposes in yards, landscapes and parks. The largest, most majestic specimens of the plant kingdom provide protection from wind and blowing snow, supply shade and perform the function of marking property lines. Like all plants, trees eventually die or become diseased, requiring eventual removal from the landscape. Planting a new tree in an area recently occupied by an old tree requires careful preparation and planting techniques. Enhance your landscape by replacing a removed tree with an attractive, new specimen.

Step 1

Test your soil to determine its ability to support your new tree. The roots of large trees often deplete the soil of valuable nutrients. Use a soil test to determine the health of your soil. Obtain any soil amendments recommended by your test results.

Step 2

Remove all traces of your previous tree. Depending on your type of tree, you may notice small suckers forming near the site of your original tree. These suckers can grow from roots that remain beneath the surface of the soil. Dig up any remaining roots, especially those near the surface of the soil.

Step 3

Treat your soil with a fungicide, especially if your previous tree died from a fungal disease. Use a powder or spray solution to remove any mold spores. Mold tends to grow in damp soils with rotting vegetation, such as segments of roots and branches, as well as leaves left from your previous tree.

Step 4

Fill in the holes and depressions left from the removed roots using well-drained topsoil. Add the ingredients recommended on your soil test results. Work these amendments into the top 10 to 12 inches of topsoil. Amend and loosen the soil in a circle as large as the anticipated, mature circumference of your new tree's overhead canopy.

Step 5

Dig a hole in the center of your prepared soil for your new tree. Make your hole two to three times wider than your new tree's root ball. Dig your hole deep enough to place the root ball level with the ground. Remove your tree's root ball from the pot and place in your prepared hole. Backfill with soil and tamp down with your foot.

Step 6

Water your new tree immediately after planting. Apply a thin stream of water over the buried roots. Apply enough water, slowly, to soak the entire root ball. Keep the soil slightly damp around your new tree's roots for the first two to three weeks after planting. Depending on your soil and climate conditions, you may need to water every few days to maintain a slight level of dampness.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Shovel
  • Fungicide
  • Topsoil
  • Soil amendments
  • Water


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Planting Techniques for Trees and Shrubs
  • Nebraska Forest Service: Tree Planting
  • "Botanica's Gardening Encyclopedia"; Staff of Botanica; 2001
Keywords: plant new tree, replace old tree, grow new tree

About this Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear in Modern Mom, Biz Mojo, Walden University and GardenGuides. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.