How to Dig a Hole for Planting Fruit


Fruit trees are a great way to improve the look of your property while getting a tasty addition to your menu. The tree will be a permanent part of your landscaping, so pick the spot carefully and prepare the ground correctly so that your tree will grow healthy and not interfere with traffic paths or electric lines. Keep in mind the eventual size of the tree when choosing the variety--what seems like a relatively small sapling can grow to a large mature tree in a matter of ten years.

Step 1

Choose your fruit tree planting site with the mature tree in mind. Determine how large the tree will be when it is mature, and plant it far enough away from any buildings so that branches will not touch roofs or power lines. Make sure that your planting site will get at least eight hours of sun per day.

Step 2

Cut out the sod in a circle 4 feet across if you are planting the tree in a yard. Dig down a couple of inches to make sure that all grass roots have been removed.

Step 3

Open the package in which your tree roots have been wrapped. Spread out the roots to see how large they will go in a circle. This will be half the width of the hole that you need to dig. Put the tree into a bucket of water while you are digging the hole.

Step 4

Dig down about 2 inches deeper than the tree has been planted in the nursery. Build up a mound in the center of the hole upon which to set the trunk, with the roots spread out and down around the center.

Step 5

Set standard rootstock trees with the graft union a couple of inches below the surface. Trees with dwarf rootstocks should be planted with the graft a couple of inches above the surface. Adjust the mound of soil in the center of the hole so that the sapling sets at the correct height when planted.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit sapling
  • Shovel


  • National Gardening Association: Fruit Tree Site Selection
  • National Gardening Association: Planting Fruit Trees
Keywords: how to dig hole planting fruit, plant a fruit tree, fruit tree planting site

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for, and hundreds of articles for