How to Plant a Pine Tree


Long-lived and graceful, pine trees are a good choice as an evergreen tree for home gardens. The cones are ornamental, the roots are deep and drought-tolerant, and the needles make a good mulch. Choose your variety based on your climate and the desired height and be careful not to plant one too large for your space. They're difficult to prune to a lower height without spoiling the shape of the tree.

Step 1

Choose your site carefully. Imagine your tree at its mature height, as it would be in ten years or so, and notice whether the branches would crowd other trees or the wall of your house. Plant where the water drains through the soil easily as pines do poorly in wet soil.

Step 2

Dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the root ball of your tree. This loosening of the soil promotes healthy root growth, the basis of a healthy tree.

Step 3

If your pine is in a container, take it out and loosen the roots, cutting through any masses of roots that cannot be pulled apart. This keeps them from growing in circles and encourages them to push out into the new soil.

Step 4

Fill the hole with enough soil to support the root ball so that the top of the soil in the container is at the same level as the top of the soil in your garden. If the root ball is too low and you cover it with soil, you may smother the tree. If it is too high, the root ball may dry out more quickly than the surrounding soil.

Step 5

Water to firm the soil, then fill the hole to the top, pushing the soil gently around the roots, and water again. Be sure to water regularly the first two years to promote the growth of a healthy root system.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't step on the soil to firm it around the roots. This can compact it too much, resulting in poor root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel


  • How To Plant A Containerized Tree
Keywords: planting pine trees, growing pine trees, pine tree

About this Author

Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.