How to Plant Your Tree at the Proper Depth

September 1, 2009

It’s very common to plant our trees too deep, burying the root zone and causing our trees to slowly decline. For more information on tree planting and seasonal tree care tips, visit
Jim Houston, Davey Tree Service expert and ISA certified arborist, provides free information on one of the most common tree planting mistakes - planting a tree too deep.

When planting a tree, you want to mimic a tree’s native environment in the forest. Imagine when you’re walking in the woods and you see the natural buttress flare of the tree’s root zone. In the urban landscape, we don’t see that.

How much soil is on top of your tree’s root zone? If more than a couple inches, remove excess soil to bring the tree to a proper level. 

When this happens, the tree slowly declines. They may survive for a couple years, but they are slowly going under a stress level that can lead to tip die back. Trees never die overnight. They’re always showing us the signs of tree decline, and we need to be looking for those signs.

Your local arborist can monitor the trees on your property, looking for tree decline and hopefully correct any issues early enough.

Contact your local professionally trained arborist with any concerns or questions you may have during your next tree planting project.

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