Plant a Tree

Before you begin, select an appropriate tree for your site.  Check out a list of New Haven recommended trees and their characteristics here.

Planting a tree is a process of enrichment. It is a process that can be strenuous or meditative, personal or collective.

Outlined below are the first few steps to get you started.

1) Mark out with paint a circle or square that is twice the size of the root ball.

  • Mark out a square if you’re planting on the curb strip and the width of the hole is less than 5 feet.
  • Mark out a circle if the width of the hole is greater than 5 feet.

2) Place tarp next to area you have marked out.

3) If there is grass in the area you have marked, slice just under the roots of the grass with a flat spade and lift the layer of grass and roots into a pile at one edge of the tarp.

  • If the hole is circular, save grass on site to be placed upside-down around edge of pit.
  • If the hole is square, either find nearby locations that need extra grass.

4) Start digging from the center of the hole and work your way out.  Place dirt in a pile on the tarp.

  • Hole must be twice as wide as the root ball so that new roots have good soil to grow into.
  • Hole should be as deep as the distance between the bottom of the root ball to the root flare.  It is VERY important that the root flare be situated at the level of the soil and NOT buried underground.

Click here to learn the rest…

…and when you’re done, step back to admire your newly planted tree!

Confused about root flares? Watch this video.