How to Plant Pine & Fir Trees


Pines and firs are evergreen trees used for landscaping purposes because of their stately appearance and ability to provide color all year round, especially in the winter when deciduous trees become bare. Pine trees are native to the Northern Hemisphere and reach heights of up to 100 feet, while firs are common in Asia, Europe, Africa and Central America, with some species growing as high as 200 feet. Both are comprised of needles instead of leaves that stand out against the landscape.

Step 1

Prepare the site before planting the evergreen in early spring. Make sure the site receives partial shade and the soil is well draining. Remove weeds, plant debris, rocks and stones from the site and discard.

Step 2

Remove the pine or fir seedling from the nursery container and check the size of the rootball. Lay the nursery container on its side and roll it a few times to loosen the seedling, if it is stuck.

Step 3

Dig a hole over the site as deep as the rootball and twice as wide. Tamp the base of the hole to solidify the soil, as planting the roots over loose soil can cause the tree to grow crooked.

Step 4

Loosen the roots with your fingers before lowering the seedling into the hole. Place the plant in the center of the hole. Spread the roots to encourage them to grow. Trim off any dry, damaged or diseased part of the roots. Cover the roots with soil and fill the hole until it is level with the surrounding area. Press the soil down to remove trapped air.

Step 5

Soak the newly planted tree with water. Spread a 2-inch-thick layer of organic mulch over the base to retain moisture. Water the trees when the soil at a depth of 1-1/2 to 2 inches feels dry. Do not let the soil around the newly planted pine or fir tree become dry. Although some varieties are drought resistant, both benefit from weekly watering the first year.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never over-water the newly planted seedling. Causing pools of water to settle near the base encourages root rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pine or fir seedling
  • Shovel
  • Watering can
  • Organic mulch


  • University of Arkansas: Storing, Handling and Planting Southern Pine Seedlings
  • University of Maine: Growing a Continuous Supply of Balsam Fir Wreath Brush
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: White Pine Planting and Care
Keywords: planting pine trees, planting fir trees, pine and firs

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.