How to prepare a hole for trees and shrubs

July 27, 2015

Growing a new plant may look easy, but it takes a lot of maintenance to just prepare the hole in which a plant goes. Before planting a tree or a shrub, consult these guidelines to determine where — and how — to best way to prepare the plant.

How to prepare a hole for trees and shrubs

Planting trees and shrubs

  • Once you've selected the right tree or shrub for your yard, identify the exact location for planting. Bear in mind that trees, in particular, can damage the foundation of your home if they are planted too near it.
  • Trees and shrubs set too close to your house can cause mildew and damage wood siding.
  • Ask your local nursery or garden centre for recommendations on planting tolerances.
  • Always read plant labels and plant so that even when mature, trees won't touch the house.
  • Plant shrubs so that they'll just brush the house when mature.

Digging the hole

  • Before you dig a deep planting hole for a tree or a shrub, contact your local utility service to find out if there are any underground utility lines at the site. You don't want to dig up or disturb gas, water, telephone or power lines.
  • When you dig the hole, be sure that the root ball rests at the same depth as in its previous planting.
  • Don't dig a hole that is too deep and then backfill it; the weight of the plant will sink the root ball below ground level.
  • Dig a hole 0.6 to 1.2 metres (two to four feet) wider than the root ball.

Preparing the hole

  • Add sphagnum moss to improve the excavated soil if it is sandy or clay-like, but don't overdo it.
  • In addition, resist the urge to fertilize. Very rich soil in the planting hole doesn't help a plant. Recent research has shown that the roots tend to ignore the outlying soil, grow in circles in the richer soil and actually stunt the plant's growth.

Digging a efficient hole is important to the health of your tree or shrub. Remember these tips and dig a hole that will encourage plant growth for years to come.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu