Having completed the important planning stage, where you learnt when and where to plant, and how to secure a healthy tree, the jubilant moment of planting your tree has arrived.

Begin by preparing the surrounding ground. A happy tree will have plenty of light and water, so remove any overgrown weeds, especially grass which will compete with the tree for light, nutrients and water. While there are various methods to plant a tree, below we have outlined the pit planting method, which is suitable for most types of soil, alongside advice on planting a sapling and fitting a spiral or tree guard to protect it.

If you are planting more than one tree, you may wish to take a look at our information on planting for larger-scale projects.

    • Equipment
    • Young tree (sapling)
    • Spade and Gardening Fork
    • Cane or stake to support the tree guard or spiral

Step 1

Dig a hole deep enough to fit in all the tree’s roots. Make sure to keep the soil close by as you’ll need it to refill the hole in a moment.

Step 2

Place the tree inside the hole, keeping the base of the stem level where the roots begin with the surrounding ground. It is very important that the roots but not the stem are in the soil.

Step 3

Holding the tree steady, refill the hole with the soil you initially dug out. Firm up the soil with the heel of your shoes, but avoid the tree, to make sure there are no air pockets – this will help prevent frost developing during the colder months.

Step 4

With the tree upright and firmly in place, press the cane or hammer the stake into the soil a few inches away from your tree’s base, taking care not to break any of the roots.

Step 5

Place your spiral around the cane and sapling or fit your tree guard over the tree and attach to the stake. Push the guard or spiral into the ground slightly, this will keep your tree safe from unwanted pests.

How to plant a tree video