Lower Trent Conservation

Tree Planting Tips

Take care of those Seedlings!

Seedlings can become stressed during transport from the nursery to the planting site. Sudden temperature changes, too little or too much water, and physical abuse can all damage a tree seedling. Avoid direct sunlight, and exposure to wind. Store seedlings in a cool dark place until ready to plant. Plant as soon as possible.

Choosing the Right Tree

Make sure you choose the right tree for the soil type.  Some trees need specific site characteristics to survive. Some need moist soil, some dry, and some can thrive everywhere. It’s important to know what kind of soil your property has before deciding to plant trees. 

Preparing Your Site 

Grass and weed control may be necessary before planting if vegetation is moderate to heavy, especially for deciduous trees. 

Tree Planting Tips 

Place the seedling as upright as possible, even on hills. Never leave roots exposed to the air, as they can dry out and die within minutes. Dig a deep enough hole to accommodate the roots spread out well and oriented straight up and down. The swelling that marks the transition between stem and roots (root collar) should be at ground level. Never bury the branches. Do not trim roots. Seedlings need every single tiny root. Pack the soil well, but don’t over pack it. Press gently but firmly to prevent shocking the roots. Air pockets can kill roots. If you’re planting more than one tree, don’t put them too close together. Some types of trees require more space than others, so check with an expert if you aren’t sure. 

Caring for your seedlings 

Depending on site conditions, the first three years in a tree’s life are the toughest. To help your tree out in this critical time, grass and weed control around seedlings may be necessary. Watering may also be required during dry hot summers.


Need help with selecting the best trees for your planting site, read through Choosing the Right Tree, or contact Ewa at our office, 613-394-3915 613-394-3915 ext. 252.

Tree Atlas - another great reference to help you select the correct tree species native to Ontario.

Clearing the Way - Preparing the Site for Tree Planting - A helpful guide on preparing your tree planting site.

The Simple Guide to Planting Tree Seedlings - Quick simple tips for planting tree seedlings.