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City of Lansing

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-Mayor Virg Bernero

Mayor Virg Bernero
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How to Plant a Tree

How to Plant a Tree

When is the Best Time to Plant a Tree?

The best chance of successfully planning the tree is during prolonged cool wet weather. This means spring or fall weather is best for transplanting. Species availability and quality is best in the Spring. Spring planting also has the advantage of providing the tree with a full growing season to establish its root system before cold winter weather can cause frost to shift the tree.

How Wide Should the Hole Be?

We recommend that the hole be two and a half to three times as wide as the root ball. By digging a hole this wide you will break up any compacted soil that will prevent excess water from draining away from the tree and will help roots spread out from the root ball.

How Deep Should the Hole Be?

We don't want the tree to sink so the hole should be no deeper than the root ball. The top of the root ball should be at or just barely below the soil surface in most situations. If you are planting the tree in hard clay soil you may want the bottom of the hole to be a little shallower than the height of the root ball. This means that the top of the root ball will be up to two inches above the surrounding soil surface.

What Should I Add to the Soil Around the New Tree?

We recommend that you not add amendments to the soil around the tree. This step helps the tree adjust to its new growing conditions more quickly than having to adjust to an amended soil then having to adjust again to the native soil.

Should I Fertilize the New Tree?
Most sources do not recommend fertilizing the tree for up to one year after the tree is planted. We recommend fertilizing the tree at one half the rate recommended for an established tree.

Public Service Department
601 E. South St.
Lansing, MI 48910
Ph: 483-4161
Fax: 483-4483

Monday - Friday
7:30 am to 4:00 pm
Emergency Response 24 hours