Properly plant your trees this season

In April we celebrated Earth Day and Arbor Day, the perfect time to plant trees. Planting trees in urban areas provides communities with many benefits, but in order to receive the benefits it must first be properly planted. There are several resources that can help ensure that trees are planted properly.

The DNR Urban Forestry program created a brochure called “New Tree Planting.” This brochure addresses tree selection, hardiness zones, types of nursery stock, the steps for planting a tree, and caring for trees once planted. There are several other resources that are offered by the UW Extension, Arbor Day Foundation and International Society of Arboriculture.

This past fall at the Graduate CTMI (Community Tree Development Institute) workshop, a presentation about tree planting was given by Dan Traas. This presentation covered the how, when and why to properly plant and select quality balled-and-burlapped, containerized and bare root trees. Some of the main points of this presentation were the importance of trunk flare positioning, damaged outer bark, planting too deep or shallow, hardiness zones, and the importance of roots. All of these concepts are important to consider when planting trees. For the tree to live a long and healthy life, and provide citizens with all of its benefits, these things must be considered.

Michigan State University Extension noted seven common errors that occur with planting. Any of these errors can lead to a shortened life span of the trees. Consider checking out the resources shown above and using those resources to plant a tree, or trees, of your own.



For more information contact Ellen Clark (, Urban Forestry Communication Specialist, at 608-267-2774.


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