How to Prepare Soil for Tree Planting

The beautiful tree you hope will one day adorn your property starts at one place – the soil. Some might think growing trees is as easy as picking a tree species, digging a hole, planting the tree, and waiting for it to grow. However, this is not the case.

If you are lucky, the conditions of your property’s native soil will be good enough to support your tree’s growth. For most cases, though, the soil will need a bit of work.

Read on to learn how to prepare soil for tree planting and how to support your tree’s longevity.

how to prepare soil for tree planting

It All Begins with a Soil Test

Trees need about 17 or so elements not to just grow but flourish. Of the 17, potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus are the most important. This is because trees absorb them from the soil in large amounts.

By conducting a soil test, you can determine which minerals your soil lacks. The test measures the levels of nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Based on the test results, you’ll know how to best prepare your soil.

Preparing Your Soil for Tree Planting

Without the proper growing conditions, your tree will find it hard to flourish. Eventually, you could find yourself needing top-rated tree removal in Lakewood.

Fortunately, by learning how to prepare soil for tree planting, you can create the ideal environment your trees and their root systems need to succeed.

Here are the steps to take when preparing the soil for tree planting.

Loosen the Soil

Due to the construction that takes place, the soil in most urban areas tends to be compressed. Your trees will find it hard to grow in compacted soil because the roots are unable to penetrate.

Before planting, dig the soil to loosen it and ensure your tree’s roots will have access to the air pockets they need.

Amend the Soil

After loosening the soil, the next step involves adding amendments that will infuse it with the needed nutrients. This is where the test you did earlier comes in handy.

If the soil lacks certain nutrients, you will know how best to supplement it. For instance, if the imbalance isn’t extensive, you can use organic fertilizers. You also have the option of using organic matter like woodchips, sawdust, tree bark, and compost.

Remember that the amended soil shouldn’t be higher than the surrounding soil. To be safe, add a four to six-inch-deep layer of compost and work it down until it’s about 12 inches deep. This will be the ideal rooting zone depth.

Planting the Tree

With digging, it’s all about root space. Ideally, for your tree to thrive, the root space should be about three times bigger than the root ball. On top of that, you should loosen the sides of the hole to make it easier for the roots to penetrate the soil as your tree grows.

Ideally, you should add as much compost as possible to the hole before planting the tree. However, if the organic matter might harm your tree, you can add it after as a top layer of mulch.

Professional Tree Service in Lakewood, OH

Learning how to prepare soil for tree planting is one of the best ways to ensure your trees live long, healthy lives. Considering how much is riding on getting the preparation right, it’s always best to leave it to certified arborists. Fortunately, Petrarca Landcare Inc. is here for you.

Whether you need help transplanting a tree or planting a new one, we can cater to all your tree care needs.

Call Petrarca Landcare Inc. today at (330) 933-0562 to request your free estimate.

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