How to Plant Madrone


Whatever you do, don't pamper your Pacific madrone tree (Arbutus menziesii). This is a tree that thrives on neglect. It is, however, difficult to successfully transplant, even as a seedling. Purchase the smallest madrone available, suggest extension agents at Oregon State University, and plant it quickly and gently. Pacific madrone trees grow in the wild only on the coast, from California to southern British Columbia.

Step 1

Find an area to plant the madrone. The tree will shed bark, leaves and berries, so you may want to plant it in an area that will allow for easy cleanup. You will also need to provide dappled shade for the sapling.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is three times as deep and wide as the nursery pot in which the madrone is growing. Fill in the hole and then dig it again, this time to the same depth and twice the width of the nursery pot.

Step 3

Remove the madrone sapling from the nursery pot and place the roots into the hole. Backfill the hole with soil and use your hands to gently press the soil around the base of the tree.

Step 4

Water the madrone until the top 4 inches of soil is wet.

Step 5

Spread a 2-inch layer of mulch around the madrone, keeping it 3 inches from the trunk.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening trowel or shovel


  • Oregon State University Extension Service: Native Madrones Are Special To The Northwest
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
  • ‭"‬The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees‭;" ‬Michael Buffin‭; ‬2007
Keywords: plant a madrone, plant madrone tree, grow madrone tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing.