How to Plant Flowering Trees


Flowering trees burst into bloom in early spring to mark the end of winter. Some flowering trees, like the dogwood, are often the first hint of color against the drab brown of a wooded area. After the blooms fade, green leaves appear to provide shade. The beauty of flowering trees continues into autumn as the flowering tree's green leaves change to colors like burgundy or gold. The best time to plant flowering trees is in the fall.

Step 1

Choose a well-drained location that meets the sunlight requirements of the flowering tree. Pear and crape myrtle need full sun, magnolia grows well in full sun to part shade and dogwood likes partial shade, though some varieties of dogwood can handle full shade.

Step 2

Dig the hole two to three times as wide as the rootball of the flowering tree. Dig the hole as deep as the rootball is tall. If planting in clay and the flowering tree is not indigenous to the area, then mix about 25 percent organic matter, like compost or leaf mold, into the removed soil to help reduce soil compaction.

Step 3

Remove the flowering tree from the nursery pot. If the rootball is wrapped in burlap, referred to as B&B, leave the burlap intact.

Step 4

Place the tree in the center of the hole and backfill the hole halfway. Water around the rootball to settle the soil. If the rootball is B&B, then cut the wire or cord holding the burlap around the trunk of the tree. Fold the burlap down to the backfilled soil level to expose the top half of the rootball.

Step 5

Finish backfilling the hole around the flowering tree. Water again.

Step 6

Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch, like compost or pine chips. Keep the mulch about 4 inches away from the trunk of the tree and extend the mulch out about 8 feet.

Step 7

Water regularly until the first frost if there is no rain.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic matter (optional)
  • Mulch


  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Autumn is a Perfect Time to Plant Trees
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Flowering Dogwood
Keywords: planting trees, flowering trees, plant B&B

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.