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  • Writer's pictureTeam Canopy

How to Plant a Tree

Would you like to collaborate with Canopy to have trees planted in your neighborhood? Canopy would like to share how we plant our trees at organizations, neighborhoods, and nonprofits around Bloomington.

CanopyBloomington orders our trees from Woody Warehouse Nursery. We work in combination with Bluestone to place our tree order and store the trees until we can plant them. The day of the planting, Bluestone delivers the trees to the planting site along with the mulch needed to help the trees survive the transplantation. Our trees look a lot like the one on the left! All volunteers watch a short demonstration on how to plant a young tree and then get to work!

Once the trees have been moved to their individual planting sites, volunteers will dig a hole just as deep and as wide as the root ball of the tree. The root ball is the main mass of roots located right under the main trunk of the tree. A helpful tip is to measure the size of the root ball with your shovel and then use that to measure the size of the hole. We recommend taking off the top layer of grass first and then digging the hole. This is hard work, so we like to have 2-3 volunteers at each planting spot to help each other out.

Once the hole has been dug, the tree can go into the ground. Volunteers will gently place the tree into the hole, making sure the root flare is just top of ground level. The root flare is where the first main roots attach to the trunk of the tree. It is important that the root flare remains slightly above the ground to make sure the tree is not planted too deep! If a tree is planted too deep, it can increase susceptibility to fungal, insect infestations, and girdling roots. It also reduces oxygen availability to roots.

Now that the tree is in the ground, be sure to back-fill the hole with dirt to make sure the tree is stable and standing straight. Always check your tree from both sides to make sure that it's not leaning one way or another. Now, it's time to mulch. Mulch should be placed 3 inches from the base of the tree, 3 inches deep, and 3 feet wide. Mulch insulates and regulates temperature for the soil containing the roots, helps retain water and provide nutrients, reduces weed growth, and prevents soil compaction and damage from mowers and foot traffic.

If you are interested in organizing a tree planting with CanopyBloomington, please reach out by filling out the following form.

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