Trees are collectively one of the earth's greatest resources. Fortunately, responsible people are more conscience of the benefits of planting a tree today, knowing what it will provide to the environment. Although a relatively simple task, certain requirements must be met to ensure a newly planted tree's survival. Soil condition, sunlight, moisture and surrounding environment are but few of the conditions worth considering.
Select the optimum location for the new tree with adequate sunlight. The soil condition should also match the tree's nutritional requirements. Ideally, an area should drain off water well. Few trees will survive in an area where standing water is a problem. Check the planting tips that come with the tree or look up the species online to learn its optimum requirements.
Dig a hole for the tree two to three times wider than the root ball, and twice as deep. Small to medium trees are delivered from the nursery in pots or containers. Use the container as a reference to determine the appropriate hole size.
Fill the bottom of the hole with garden soil just over half full. This should put the root flare about 1 inch above ground level. The root flare is the transition area between the trunk and where the roots start.
Lay the tree on its side and roll it gently to release the tree's roots and potting soil from the container. Remove the container and gently loosen the compacted soil around the root section. Save as much of this soil as possible, and rake it into the hole.
Set the tree in the center of the hole and partially fill hole with water. The water will displace air in the hole and help to pack the new soil around the root. Backfill with quality garden soil up to ground level while periodically tamping the soil down around the root section.
Add about 3 inches of organic compost around the tree, covering the entire hole area. Stake the tree in at least two opposite directions to prevent it from tipping. Water the tree every four to seven days for the first couple of months. Use a slow water stream for one-half hour or more to allow moisture to soak below the roots.