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Make an Impact This Earth Day: 5 steps to plant a tree

Apr 22, 2024 11:01AM ● By Nicole Petrus
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There are countless ways you can make your contributions felt this Earth Day. If you’d like to join millions of others in the fight for the environment, consider one of the most popular gifts given back to the world each year: planting a tree.

With hundreds of millions of trees planted since the first celebration in 1970, per, you can be part of one of the largest civic events on the planet. Consider these tips to properly plant a tree in your own yard.

Choose the Right Tree and Location
Depending on where you live and your desired outcome, choosing the right tree and planting location are critical factors. Larger shade trees help cool homes in warmer climates, evergreens provide privacy and fruit trees offer a grocery store right in your backyard. Consider your available space along with conditions that will impact the tree itself, such as soil conditions, sun exposure, drainage and more.

Dig Safely
Before digging, remember that proper tree placement requires factoring in underground utility lines, overhead power lines and proximity to sidewalks, driveways and homes. Dial 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to locate underground utilities and consider contacting an arborist or tree care professional to make sure you’ve weighed all the important factors.

Break Ground
Dig a hole that’s roughly 2-3 times wider than the root ball of your tree and equally as deep as the root ball. Be sure the trunk flare (where the trunk expands at the base of the tree) is partially visible when planted. Remove any wrapping or cover from the root ball and trunk. Lift from the root ball, not the trunk, to place in the hole then straighten vertically and firmly backfill soil around the root ball to stabilize.

Add Mulch
Mulching helps maintain moisture and improve soil conditions while controlling weed growth. Place a 2-3-inch layer in a 3-foot radius around the base of the tree without touching the trunk itself.

Keep Soil Moist
Make sure your tree has enough water to grow strong by keeping the soil moist. Typically, this means watering just once per week, barring rain, but may require more frequency during especially hot weather.

Find more tips for giving back to Mother Earth at


Photo courtesy of Unsplash


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