If you picked up a new ornamental tree or fruit tree and want to plant it in the lawn then you’ll want to get the timing right as best as you can, encourage healthy root growth, prevent damage to your surrounding turf grass (the lawn), feed and water the tree well, and protect the pipes, sidewalks, and the foundations of your home from eventual root growth.
Today we’re going to cover all of these topics while I walk you through the process of planting a tree in your lawn. Let’s get started.
When Is The Best Time To Plant a Tree?
The single best time to plant a tree anywhere on your property is in the fall around the same time you’d be putting grass seed down. Early Sept is usually a great time for most places around the country because the hottest days are usually in the rear view mirror and the tree can work on root growth and establishment through a low stress period just before it goes into winter dormancy.
Later fall, winter, or early spring are also perfectly fine times to plant the tree (assuming soil is not frozen and can be worked) but the important thing to keep in mind is that the most stressful time of the year to plan the tree is an the end of Spring just as outside air temps and soil temps reach their peak for the year. The heat can stress the tree out quite a bit and stunt it’s growth as it tries to survive transplant shock.
Digging A Hole For The Tree: What Shape, Size, & Depth Is Best
Dig hole no deeper than the soil level of the pot the tree is currently planted in and do not ever cover up the grafted knob at the base of the trunk if one exists.
Hole should be 2-3 times as wide as the pot the tree was already in.
Avoid trunk rot that happens with trees planted too deep.
Avoid grafted tree rooting traits overtaking root stock.
Don’t Backfill the planted tree with compost and/or fert – use regular native soil to encourage roots to spread through it and beyond. Then apply wood chip mulch or compost fertilizer on top of the finished transplant soil to feed the tree slowly over time.