How to Prepare Soil to Plant Trees: Best Practices

By: Shelby McCullough| Published: August 1, 2022

To keep your trees in excellent health, call McCullough Tree Service today at 407-734-5854!

soil to plant trees

Trees bring a natural touch of color and texture to many gardens and courtyards in residential or commercial settings. If you’re planting trees around your home or business, you’re probably hoping they’ll stay healthy and stand for a long time.

Trees can become unhealthy and sick-looking without the proper soil to grow in and from which to draw nutrients. Preparing proper soil to plant trees in supports their flourishing appearance and longevity. McCullough Tree Service, the top tree service company in Windermere, FL, has all the need-to-know info on soil preparation to keep your trees happy and healthy.

Best Soil Preparation Practices for Planting Trees

1. Assessing the Site

Before you decide to plant any trees, you need to inspect the area where you plan to put them. Some urban sites may not be ideal for planting trees due to compact soil or a deficit of nutrients. Construction often compresses the soil, depriving it of oxygen.

With no oxygen, tree roots cannot penetrate this soil or provide the tree with nutrients. This is especially true if the dirt consists of a mixture of different types of soils. If you find compacted soil where you hope to plant your trees, loosen it before you begin planting.

2. Refine the Soil 

Before putting trees in the ground, you have to ensure that the native soils are suitable for the trees to thrive. Subsoiling, digging to loosen soil, will ensure the trees’ roots have exposure to air pockets while simultaneously removing excess water that could hinder their growth. 

The best soil to plant trees in contains additions of compost or organic materials, known as soil amendments. Organic matter consisting of soil conditioners and rotten manure promotes health and speedy growth. Some people use sawdust or woodchips, but these can deprive the tree of the soil’s nutrients. Amendments like tree bark that break down slowly will improve tree growth.

Place a layer of soil amendment down before you plant a tree. If it seems like the compost or organic matter could damage the tree’s root system, you can add the amendment as a top layer of mulch after planting the tree.

3. Digging and Planting

When digging the planting hole, be sure that it is roughly two times the size of the root hole. Loosen the sides of the planting hole to enable the growing roots to penetrate the soil. Confirm the tree’s flare sits just above the soil to prevent excess water from drowning the tree.

Remember that the root space for a thriving tree will be about three times larger than the root ball. Allow clearance for your tree’s root system to spread comfortably while growing, and remember to add as much compost and organic material to the planting hole as possible.

McCullough Tree Service

If you have more questions about the best soil to plant trees, McCullough Tree Service in Windermere, FL, can help. Click the link to learn the reasons why trees fall down. Our team of certified arborists is dedicated to maintaining the health and beauty of your trees, ensuring your landscape remains safe and attractive. Trust us to bring top-notch tree care solutions to your doorstep.

Shelby McCullough

About The Author: Shelby McCullough

With over two decades of experience in the tree industry, Shelby McCullough is a highly skilled certified arborist and the proprietor of McCullough Tree Service. His unparalleled expertise and profound understanding of trees set him apart in his field.