How to Plant a Tree in Your Backyard to Increase Your Property Value

Bill Taylor
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Step 1: Pick a Place to Plant the Tree

In order for the tree or tree saplings to grow, the ground must be fertilized, but you also must make sure you do not plant the tree too close to the property line. When you plant the tree too close to the property line there is a chance that if the tree grows it will cause the fence to fall down.

The tree will grow towards the sunlight and will try to push its way into other properties. When planting a tree, you do not want to plant it next to your house or fence, as this will cause problems in the future.

When a tree is planted too close to the house, it creates a structural and insect problem for your home.

When a tree grows quickly and is planted too close to the house, it will force the house to be damaged in most cases. When a tree that is planted next to the house grows branches that are too heavy, they will pull the house down.

Make sure that when growing a tree you only plant it as far away from your home as the width of the tree will grown to be later on.

Step 2: Consider the Benefits You Want from the Tree

Consider what you need from the tree. There are many benefits from a tree in your yard. Beauty, shade, screening, shade, fertilizer, erosion control, improved air quality, and humidity are just a few examples. Some trees provide a combination of these benefits.

After you think about what you want from the tree, you can decide what tree to plant. For example, if you want shade, you cannot plant a willow tree. The amount of shade provided by the tree is a major planting factor.

If you are looking for the cost effective route, choose a tree that has low maintenance. If your idea of fun is chasing the lawn mower around the yard, bite the bullet and buy the best mower you can afford. You will have to spend hours keeping a spacious yard maintained. If you are in the market for a new mower, get a variable speed, self-propelled lawn mower so you can use it at a comfortable pace. It will be much easier to maintain your yard if you aren’t whipping around the yard trying to keep up with your mower. A trimming mower may not be a bad idea, either.

Estimate the size of your tree and the hole needed. Before you order anything, do a rough sketch of your yard. Decide where you want to place the tree.

Step 3: Give the Tree a Fighting Chance

A tree can increase the property value in your backyard. However, it is only likely to help you if you have provided it with the conditions that it needs to grow and thrive.

Some trees require more care than others and it is important to recognize this. Some trees are also much more likely to attract bugs, critters, and even your neighbors’ ire.

You can avoid all of this by being mindful of the following:

  • The tree’s natural habitat
  • The size of the tree
  • The tree’s age
  • How long it will take the tree to mature
  • The tree’s mature size
  • Your local weather conditions

You should also consider how good you really are with plants. Some plants can be self-sufficient while others cannot. Know which type you are dealing with.

Caring for trees is a lifelong responsibility, and some people are willing to take it upon themselves while others are not. If you choose a tree that you really like but you know deep down that you are not very good with plants, consider hiring a professional to help you look after it.

Step 4: Prepare the Ground

Now that you have an idea of which tree you're going to plant, it's time to prepare the ground for your landscaping investment.

The best method for preparing your soil depends on the plant type. As you contemplate how big a tree to plant, do consider the maturity of the tree. If you want a tree that's going to grow to 50-60 feet tall, don't plant it in a 1' by 1' hole. Start with a hole about 5 feet wide.

Amending your soil is a great way to jump start the growth of new plants. There are many types of soil amendments available, but the most important thing you can add to your soil are organic materials. Organic materials are natural fibers that were once living. They can be very helpful in soil retention and drainage. Organic materials also allow the soil to retain more moisture, which is especially helpful if you live in a dry area. Good organic materials include peat moss, lawn clippings, leaves and shredded newspaper.

So what kind of tree should you plant and what soil amendments should you add? Make sure you do plenty of research before planting any trees and shrubs. Choose one that can withstand your weather conditions and one that will best thrive in your soil. Once your tree is in the ground, it will require little to no ongoing maintenance. This is because most trees are self-sufficient and will grow inside an enclosed place.

Step 5: Dig the Hole

Digging the hole is the easiest step in the entire process. It is so easy in fact, that you can even do it after the tree arrives. For best results, do it before the tree arrives.

If you are planting a tree from a container, dig the hole twice as wide as the roots will be when fully spread out. If you are planting a balled and burlapped tree, you can dig the hole the width of the tree’s canopy.

Line the bottom of the hole with rocks. This will provide drainage for the soil.

Now, line the hole with compost, manure, and a few inches of topsoil. This will help encourage your tree to grow healthy and strong.

Place your tree in the hole.

Fill with soil, but only up to the first set of branches that the tree has grown. If you over fill the hole, the soil will wash away. If you leave air pockets, the tree roots will rot.

Water the tree thoroughly.

Step 6: Loosen the Roots

Before you plant a tree in your yard, make sure you loosen the roots from the container. Use your hands to gently run them along the bottom of the root ball until they are completely free from any remnants of the container. Take the tree out of the container.

Make sure the tree is facing the right direction. Trees usually have a top. There will be a few roots sticking out of the top of the root ball. If you don't see them, try turning the tree over. Your tree might have a few sink-holes. If that is the case, gently push soil into those holes.

After the roots are free from the container, you can plant a tree in your yard. Place it directly next to where you would like the tree to go. The tree will grow larger as it gets older, so make sure you plant it in the right spot.

You can use a collar to help keep the tree standing straight. It's a good idea to use a collar if your tree is on an incline.

Step 7: Put the Tree Into the Hole

Once you have added the mulch around the base of the tree and packed the dirt firmly, and it is watered in, the fun part begins.

Take the tree out of the container and place it as close as possible to where it will be planted. Make sure it is near the hole so you can easily move it back if needed. Remember, typically the hole needs to be at least 12 inches wider than the container the tree came in.

Finally, using your hands, pull the tree out of the container. Tap the bottom of the tree so the excess water falls out of the roots. If the water does not drain out of the hole, then dig more dirt away from the bottom of the tree. Try to get it to the point where you can gently slide the tree out of the container.

Step 8: Put the Soil Back Into the Hole

The process of planting a yard tree with good results is more of an art than a science. There is no formula to guarantee success, but there are some methods that will improve your chances of a good result. One example is to make sure that the soil level is back to where it was before you dug the hole and perhaps a little higher.

Step 9: Form a Ridge Around the Site and Water the Tree

Dig a trench around the drip line of the tree, digging 3 to 4 inches deep and 18 inches out from the trunk. A spade makes this job easy. Spread a 2 inch layer of compost over the bottom of the trench. Fill the trench so that it is 2 inches from the rim. Pull the soil around the tree with your hands, making a sharp ridge that will hold water. Begin placing mulch over the compost, starting at the base of the tree and spreading it outward in a wide ring. Be sure that the mulch is not compressed, as you want it to hold water.

Step eleven: Check the tree regularly and water whenever the ground is dry. You can cut back on watering once the stump is removed. Continue watering until the tree's roots have grown a few inches into the soil. Once the tree is established, you only need to water it if there are long dry periods or it is located in an area with little rainfall.

Step 10: Stake or Protect the Tree as Necessary

While proper pruning is very important to any tree, it is especially necessary for young trees. Any pruning you do will likely cause some branch or trunk bleeding, which is a natural part of tree growth, but it also exposes your tree to infection from insects and diseases. You will also need to be extra careful when pruning during wet, cold, or windy weather.

One of the best ways to protect young trees is to stake them with the help of metal braces and stakes. You can buy brace-like products at your local nursery or home supply store that are specifically designed to protect newly planted tree trunks from the elements. Alternatively you can use sturdy stakes and secure them directly into the ground next to the trunk.

Once your tree has grown enough to support its own weight (generally after it has been planted for a year or two) you can remove the stakes. however it is advisable to leave your stakes in place for at least a year, as some trees have fragile trunks and they may break easily during the winter.

And, remember to keep the stakes or braces at least one foot away from the trunk of your tree, so they do not impair growth.


Step 11: Mulch Around the Tree

Once the stakes are pounded in, use a rake to make the grass under the tree even.

Remove grass clippings to be sure the area around the tree is smooth.

Use a painter's pole to apply compost or mulch on a 4-6 inch layer.

Apply mulch all around, around the tree, not under the tree.

The richer the soil, the bigger the tree.

Mulch provides nutrients for the tree; it retains moisture, oxygen, the soil is not compacted, and it is easier to pull weeds.

Step 12: Set Up Your Maintenance Plan

Whether or not you end up planting a tree, you will need to be able to take care of the tree and keep it alive.

Before making your final decision to plant, make a plan for how you will take care of your tree. You will need to take care of the tree from the day you plant it until the day it dies. This means if you don’t plant a tree you need to come up with a plan for taking care of your yard.

Talk to the neighbours. Even if your neighbours are not great with their own yards, they might have some experience and/or advice for you. Talk to friends who have trees they know how to take care of.

Research the best practices for maintaining trees. A lot of people think they will just plant a tree and then never have to think of it again. This is not usually the case. In the best case scenario, you will need to water, prune, and fertilize the tree throughout its life. If you don't know how often to prune it, then you can't do it when it's too late.

Choose your maintenance plan. Here are some ideas to help you start thinking about how to take care of your trees. There are many things you can do to care for your tree, and this is a short list.

Get plenty of mulch to fill in the hole left by planting the tree.

Final Thoughts

I hope these trees and tips help you increase your property value in your backyard. It's important to remember that the perfect tree for your property is the tree that your family will enjoy to the fullest. If you want a tree that will allow you to lounge in its shade on a hot summer day or pick apples from a tree in your backyard, you should plant that tree. If you want a tree you can build a fort in or a space tree, you should go for it. When you plant a tree for these reasons, the joy and use of that tree will increase its value on a personal level. Your neighbors and surrounding community will see the value in your property and will want to live in your yard.

If you pay attention to affordability, upkeep, longevity, and personality, you should be able to find a tree that will increase your property value both now and in the future.