Planting a tree can be so easy! Just place the root ball on the ground and cover it with soil. Now, is that laidback or what?

It’s not easy to plant a tree, a shrub or evergreen in ground where it’s difficult to dig, as in heavy clay, rocky soil or soil filled with tree roots. And it’s doubly difficult when you’ve chosen a large caliber specimen, as that requires an especially big planting hole. Yet there is an easy solution: plant it without digging at all!

Simply unpot the plant, place the root ball on the ground at the desired location … then cover it with a mound of earth the same height as the root ball and at least three times wider. Over time, the roots will not only reach into the soil all around, but descend deeper into the ground all on their own.

It’s wise to stake the new plant for the first year.

Just water a bit more that unusual the 1st and maybe also the 2nd year, as a tree growing in a mound will be a bit more exposed to drought until it is fully rooted. And do stake it, as it won’t root well if its root ball moves in the wind. The stake too can come off the second year.

Plant a tree without digging? Sometimes gardening is sooo simple!20171002A

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “How to Plant a Tree without Digging

  1. Jean Wililams

    I planted 20 arborvitae by simply cutting out the bottom of the pot and setting them on the ground. I kept them watered and after the roots were solid in the ground, I cut away the rest of the pot. They were perfectly aligned and equidistant as I arranged the pots.

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