How to Plant Nut Trees


Growing your own nut trees provides you and your family with a tasty food that is rich in fiber and antioxidants. Nut trees not only produce food for humans, they also supply squirrels, turkeys and other wildlife species with nuts that are essential to their survival. The nut tree is a good shade tree and most nut trees make an attractive addition to your front or back yard. Plant a few varieties of nut trees around your home and enjoy their beauty and the benefits of their healthy nuts.

Step 1

Select a location in your yard for your nut tree. Consider the amount of space and type of lighting that your nut tree will require. Most nut trees grow to heights well over 20 feet; make sure you've got enough room for your tree to expand and grow. Nut trees require sun to partial shade to thrive and produce their nuts.

Step 2

Visit your local nursery and select the type of nut tree that is best for your soil conditions. Many nut trees will thrive in well-drained, neutral-acidic soils. Walnuts and hickories have a preference for deep, clay-loam soil. Hazelnuts and chestnuts flourish in sandy-loam soils.

Step 3

Prepare your nut sapling for planting. Soak the roots of the tree in a mix of transplant solution and water. Transplant solutions stimulate root growth and aid in the prevention of shock. Purchase transplant solutions at your local nursery.

Step 4

Dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate the tap root of the sapling without bending it. Trim off any damaged parts of the root. Place a little loose soil and a handful of bone meal at the bottom of the hole. Bone meal provides roots with phosphorus, which promotes root development. Purchase bone meal at your local garden center.

Step 5

Place the sapling in the center of the hole with the root just below ground level. Add a loose layer of soil around the roots, spreading the roots as you continue to lightly cover them. Pour a bucket of water into the hole and tamp gently, allowing soil to settle around the roots. Fill in the rest of the hole with loose soil. Pour another bucket of water over the hole and gently pack the dirt around the sapling.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not fertilize your nut trees during the first year of their life.

Things You'll Need

  • Nut tree sapling
  • Shovel
  • Transplant solution
  • Bone meal
  • 2 buckets of water
  • Mulch
  • Tree guard or tree shield


  • The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's LandOwner Resource Centre: Planting and Caring for Nut Trees
  • University of Illinois: The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences: Nut Growing Establishing Nut Trees
  • University of Kentucky: Nut Growing in Kentucky
Keywords: nut trees, nut planting, nut saplings

About this Author

Amy Deemer has been writing since 1992. Her articles on family life and pets have appeared in the family section of "The Herald Standard" newspaper. Deemer has an Associate of Arts degree in liberal studies from Westmoreland Community college.