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Planting Elm Trees

By Melody Dawn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Elm trees are deciduous trees that originated in central Asia. Elms can tolerate many different types of conditions. They grow quickly and can provide an excellent canopy when mature. Elm trees can live as long as 300 years if they are properly maintained. The trees can grow more than 100 feet tall and to widths greater than 10 feet.

Choose an area to plant your elm tree that will get lots of sunlight. Elm trees grow best in full sun.

Dig a shallow hole for the elm tree. The hole should be approximately 3 to 4 inches wider than the container in which you bought the tree. Several of the roots should be within 1 to 2 inches from the top of the soil. Check by probing the soil with a screwdriver.

Fill the hole loosely with the native soil, on top of the root ball. If the root ball has been wrapped to prevent it from falling apart, do not remove these wrappings before planting the tree, but do remove grow bags or burlap.

Water the roots of the tree using a soaker hose to help settle the soil and stabilize the tree. Allow the soil to dry before you water it again. If the ground becomes too wet, the soil will compact, damaging the tree.

Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch or bark, but do not allow the mulch to touch the tree trunk. Placed around the tree, the mulch will help with weed control and will help the tree maintain the correct amount of moisture. Mulch also helps to lessen the effects of foot traffic, which packs the soil and prevents air exchange.

Use tree fertilizer stakes near the root ball. The stakes will disperse through the soil instead of on top of the soil. Follow the directions on the package of fertilizer. Fertilize the growing tree once a month.


Things You Will Need

  • Fertilizer stakes
  • Mulch
  • Water
  • Bark

About the Author


Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.