Planting Your Tree

 P1150578 edit2HowToPlantATreePicplanting3 Klamath Planting

The following are simple step-by-step instructions for planting your new tree.  They are the same steps taught at our tree planting demonstrations.  Click here for a copy of the instructions with a diagram.  Also, check out our step by step planting video below.

Also see our full guides on Tree Watering, Tree Staking, Tree Care Tips, and Tree Pruning.

Call USA before you dig to check for
underground utilities.



leaf step1

    Hole Preparation

 holeDig the hole as deep as the rootball is in the container and 2-3 times as wide as the container.  If planting a street tree, dig the hole in the center of the parkstrip at the green or white "T" marked on your curb.

Score the sides of the hole by adding notches with a shovel or pickaxe.  This creates uneven soil for the roots to grow into.  This is especially important if the hole has been augured.

Create a compacted mound in the center of the hole about 4 inches high to act as a pedestal to set the rootball on.  The mound will help with drainage and prevents the tree from sinking after it’s watered.



leaf step2

    Rootball Preparation

rootballFind and expose the first woody root on the trunk flare.

To remove the tree from the pot, lay the tree on its side near the hole and loosen the soil in the container by gently kneeling on the container.

After the tree is removed from the pot, untangle the rootball and cut major circling roots with a sharp set of pruners.



leaf step3


plantingPlace the rootball in the center of the hole and check the depth using the support stake to level the first woody root with the surrounding grade, or slightly above. Adjust the mound as necessary.

Consider the canopy orientation.

Backfill the soil while holding roots outward and gently tamping down loose soil.  Do not cover the top of the rootball or the first woody root.


leaf step4


stakingRemove the original nursery stake and backfill the hole left by the stake.

Install the Reddy Stake.  Click here for full a guide on Reddy Stake Installation.



leaf step5


wateringCreate a firm raised mound of dirt approximately 12-18 inches from the trunk.

Completely saturate the rootball with 10-15 gallons of water immediately.   Click here for a full guide on Watering Instructions.

Add 4-6 inches of mulch, staying 3 inches away from the trunk.  Mulch helps your tree retain moisture and provides nutrients your tree needs to thrive.


Tree Planting Instructional Video

 Video is also available in Spanish and Vietnamese


Tree Planting Diagram

tree planting guide

Click here for a copy of the above instructions and diagram


Also see our full guides on Tree Watering, Tree Staking, Tree Care Tips, and Tree Pruning.


Street Tree Planting Reminders

   tree bullet  40 feet from street corners

   tree bullet  20 feet from stop signs and other traffic devices

   tree bullet  5 feet from underground utilities

   tree bullet  10 feet from sewer lines (look for curb mark)

   tree bullet  5 feet from water lines (look for water meter box)

   tree bullet  7 feet from residential driveways and

   tree bullet  10 feet from commercial driveways

   tree bullet  5 feet from fire hydrants


OCF Also Suggests:

   tree bullet  30 to 40 feet apart for all trees

Contact Us

(408) 998-7337
1590 Las Plumas Ave
San Jose, CA 95133
Nursery: 1000 Spring St.