Man planting a tree sapling in a yard.

Growing a tree is well worth the effort. Trees are great for gardens; they provide shade, oxygen, and relief from air pollution. If you follow the right steps, your tree will live a long and healthy life. Use this how-to as a resource to plant and grow a tree in your garden.

1. Planning

Before planting a tree, you need to find a good spot for it in your yard. Look for a place with fertile soil where it’ll have plenty of room to grow outward and upward. Then, research what types of trees grow best in your region or state and pick one accordingly. You’ll likely be looking for a sapling: A tree whose roots and trunk have already grown a bit, and may have even sprouted a few leaves.

You may also want to consider the time of year when you plant a tree. Consider planting in the early spring or late fall when the weather isn’t too hot or cold and still supports the development of roots. If you’re in a location that’s warm all year long, the choice is up to you.

2. Preparing

Once you have planned the perfect spot, go to your nearest gardening store and purchase your tree. When you purchase a sapling, your job will be to keep it growing. While at your local gardening or home improvement store, grab a few other necessary accessories for planting and taking care of it. This includes stakes, guards, and wraps – all of which will help support the tree as it grows.

3. Planting

After getting home from the store, dig a hole where you want your tree to go. The hole should be at least twice as wide and the same depth as the existing root ball. This will give it adequate room for the roots to grow while still collecting moisture. After placing the sapling in the hole, gently cover the hole with soil and mulch.

4. Tending

Once you plant your tree, there’s a lot to keep in mind to assure its long-term health. Staking is necessary to anchor the tree as it develops roots. Find the spot on the trunk where the tree needs to be steadied, and place two stakes opposite one another a few feet from the tree. Then, attach them to the tree with staking straps.

Mulching is also a beneficial step; this should be done right after planting to insulate the soil and help it retain water. You need to water the tree for the first few years: Each week, it needs six gallons for every inch of its trunk’s diameter. It’s also beneficial to fertilize the soil to keep the tree growing. Add granular fertilizer or fertilizer spikes after the first year, and do so in the offseason when the tree is dormant.

If you’re worried about damage, additional products can help. A tree guard or edging can protect your tree from lawnmower impacts while tree wraps will defend it from small critters and harsh weather. For your additional tree and garden needs, Jobe’s is here to help. Take advantage of our variety of organic gardening products, and keep your garden happy and healthy.