Seedling Planting Instructions

We’re so glad that you’ve received a seedling. With the proper care, this seedling can provide you with decades of shade, happiness, and respite.

Please plant your seedling as soon as possible!

Read below for instructions on how to plant and care for your new seedling

Siting:

Though your seedling is small now, we hope it grows into a large, mature tree. Because of this, it is important to properly site your tree so it has plenty of room to grow. Small trees (<30 ft at maturity) should be planted at least 8-10 ft away from your house or other structures. Medium trees (30-70 ft at maturity) should be planted at least 15 ft away, and large trees (>70 ft at maturity) should be planted at least 20 ft away.

You can use iTree Design to figure out where the best place to plant your seedling for energy savings is around your house.

Important things to remember when you plant:

  1. The hole should be as deep as the roots are.
  2. Remove sod and grass around the seedling so there is no competition for water and nutrients.
  3. Make sure to compact the soil afterwards (but not too much), so the tree has stability.

Proper planting depth:

You’ll want to find the root collar, where the roots meet the stem, and plant level with that spot on the seedling.

Graphic courtesy of Engledow Group.

Planting with a shovel:

You can also watch this video to learn more about planting seedlings.

Information about the different species:

Tree Species Sun Soil Size (height) Size (spread)
White Oak full sun or partial shade deep, moist, well-drained soil, can tolerate moderate drought 50–80′ 50–80′
Tulip Poplar full sun moist, well-drained soil, can tolerate drought in humid regions 70–90′ ~40′
Bald Cypress full sun moist, well-drained soil, can withstand flooding 50–70′ ~25′
Serviceberry full sun or partial shade moist, well-drained soils 15–25′ 15–25′
Chinkapin Oak full sun moist, well-drained soils 40–50′ 50–60′
Sweet Gum full sun moist, well-drained soils, has moderate drought tolerance 60–75′ 40–50′
Red Mulberry full sun or partial shade moist, well-drained soil, high drought tolerance 30–50’ 30–50’
Washington Hawthorn full sun moist, well drained soils, is drought-tolerant 25–30′ ~25′

Might this be you?

Hear from Robin how a seedling she picked up for free in 1991 has grown into a massive evergreen 30 years later…

Check out more of our Tree Stories and submit your own!

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