How to Plant a Tree

Planting a tree and watching it grow over the years is fulfilling and satisfying. Follow our steps below to get your tree off to a good start.


  • A tree sapling
  • A spade and fork
  • Water
  • A tree guard (optional)
  • Mulch (organic matter like chipped bark, optional)

1. Buy a Local Tree Species

Visit the TreeTrekk Shop or your nearest garden centre, then buy a tree that grows locally.
Do your own research, ensure that you do not affect the local ecology.

2. Find a Place to Plant

We strongly recommend reading the Tree Council's Tree Planting Guide.

Only plant trees on private land with the landowners permission. Do not plant trees beneath power-lines, or that will obscure road signs. Ensure your tree's species aligns with the local woodland. More information can be found at the Woodland Trust

3. Dig a Hole

Dig a hole three times as wide as the tree's ball of roots and the same depth. Loosen the soil around the hole with a fork.

4. Soak Tree Roots

Soak the tree's roots completely, then loosen the root ball to encourage roots to grow into the soil.

5. Place Tree in Hole

Place the root ball in the hole so that the point where the roots meet the trunk is level with the surface.

Planting too deep can cause the stem to rot, but if too shallow then the roots will die above the surface.

6. Refill the Hole

Refill the hole ensuring there are no air pockets around the roots. Compact the soil around the tree making sure the stem remains upright.

7. Add Tree Guard

Using a tree guard can help to protect the tree from wildlife that may want to nibble the bark.

8. Water, then add Mulch

Water well then add a 5-8cm (2-3in) layer of mulch but leave a 10cm (4in) mulch-free collar around base of stem.

Mulch will benefit the tree by keeping grass away from the base, decreasing competition for resources.

Now Get Planting!

You should now be able to plant your sapling.
For further guidance, check out this guide by the Royal Horticultural Society.
If you want to plant a seed, try this guide from The Tree Council