Trees require adequate watering, fertilizer and light to thrive. Choose a site to plant your tree that offers the appropriate amount of sunlight. Fertilize your tree according to species recommendations. When digging the hole to plant your tree, design it so that it drains well. Trees require quite a bit of water but do not like to have it sit around their roots. Good drainage is important for healthy tree and root development. Adding organic material to the soil improves the drainage.
Dig a hole twice as wide and slightly shallower than the width and height of the tree's root ball. Set the soil next to the hole. Loosen the sides and bottom of the hole so that the roots can penetrate the ground.
Mix the soil from the hole with compost and mulch. The ratio should be 2 to 1 to 1/2 of soil, compost and mulch. Adding compost and mulch to the soil will prevent it from becoming compacted.
Remove the tree from the bucket it is in or remove the packaging the root balls are wrapped in. Place the tree in the hole, spreading the roots gently over the bottom of the hole.
Fill the hole in with the soil mixture. Lightly tamp the soil down around the base of the tree.
Create a 3-foot diameter of mulch around the base of the tree. This will hold moisture in and protect the roots from cold during the winter.