Owning Your Outdoors: How to plant a tree

In this edition of Owning Your Outdoors, Lewis yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder, has some helpful tips for planting trees. 

Use the link to download instructions for planting a tree in your yard. 

When choosing a tree for your landscape there are a number of variables to consider.


  1. Purpose. Is it ornamental, shade or both?
  2. How much space do you have for the tree to mature?
  3. Do you want instant gratification? If so, choose a fast-growing tree.
  4. How much water does the tree require? Certain trees do better in low lying areas that occasionally flood. 

Three common tree categories:

Ornamental (Usually smaller with flowers or unique foliage)

  1. Newport Plum 25’ tall and 25’ wide. Pink flowers spring.
  2. Crabapple size and color of flowers vary.
  3. Lilac Tree up to 35’ tall


Ornamental shade trees

  1. Quaking Aspen 60’ x 30 ‘ (leaf movement in the wind)
  2. Weeping Willows various sizes…check when buying
  3. Catalpa Trees 40’-60’ 20’-40’

Shade Trees

  1. Autumn Blaze Maple 40’x30’ (Brilliant Red Fall Color)
  2. Crimson King Maple 40’x30’ (purple leaves all season)\
  3. Greenspire Linden 50’X30’ (heart shaped leaves)
  4. Prospector Elm 50’x30’ (Fast growing)

When planting your tree:

  1. Before you dig, call 811 and have your yard marked for underground utilities.
  2. Dig your hole about twice the diameter of the tree's root ball.
  3. Avoid planting the tree too deep. The root collar should not be below the top of your hole. 
  4. When mukching, don't let the mulch touch the tree. Leave a gap of about two inches between the tree and the mulch.