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3 Common Tree-Planting Mistakes

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

A tree planted incorrectly will at best be under stress and at worst be headed for an early death. Follow our tips to avoid making mistakes when planting trees.

Tree Planting
The root ball of the tree

The Root Ball

Before planting, cut through the side of the root ball at four equidistant spots, then cut an X at the bottom. This will prevent roots from circling around and eventually girdling the tree.

Tree base

Tree Base

Planted too deeply, a tree can develop rot and insect problems. Make sure the root flare—a slight tapering at the base—still shows after planting.

Mulching around tree base


When mulching, think “doughnut,” not “volcano.” The former ensures that mulch is not piled up against the bark, where it can cause moisture and insect problems. It also directs water toward the roots, rather than away from them.