Tree Placement and Planting Video Series

Site Assessment Prior to Planting in the Urban Environment

There are several considerations to be made when establishing a long-lived, healthy tree. In this video, Liza Holmes explains important site assessment and preparation considerations, including planning for proper tree spacing and location (considering mature size), careful tree selection, ameliorating problematic site and soil conditions, and locating utility and irrigation lines prior to planting. 


Preparing and Planting a Container-Grown Tree

Containerized trees are readily available at garden centers, are relatively easy to plant, and, with proper care, can be planted year-round. Containerized trees, however, can contain root defects that are not always easy to see. Fortunately, most root defects, with careful inspection, can be identified at the nursery before purchase or corrected at planting. Since a healthy root system is essential to nutrient and water uptake and structural support, ensuring good root structure at planting leads to optimal tree growth and health. In this video, Liza Holmes shows viewers what to look for in a healthy containerized root ball, how to prepare the root ball for planting and then planting the tree. Liza addresses circling and girdling roots and proper planting and mulching depth.

Preparing and Planting a Balled and Burlapped Tree that has been Bare-Rooted

Balled and burlapped (B&B) and bareroot trees are available at specialty and wholesale nurseries, typically cost less than containerized trees, and, with good stock, proper preparation, and care can establish better than containerized trees. Their one disadvantage is that they must be planted in the dormant season. Bareroot trees, in particular, make identifying root defects easier since root defects in container-grown trees are harder to see. In this video, Liza Holmes provides recommendations on preparing and planting B&B and bareroot trees. Liza covers topics such as pruning prior to planting, planting tools, planting depth for grafted and non-grafted trees, soil amendments, and optimal planting methods.

Avoiding Soil and Root Disturbance during Construction

Root systems are not always protected during construction and this is a problem because roots are critical for optimal tree growth and health. In this video, Liza Holmes explains ways to protect roots from soil compaction of vehicles and trenching damage. Liza presents alternatives or options to trenching alternatives and tree protection zones.

Liza Holmes is a Research Technician at the Bartlett Tree Research Lab in Charlotte, North Carolina

Videographer and Editor: Priya Jaishanker, Virginia Tech

Technical Directors: Holly Campbell, Adam Downing, Bill Hubbard, John Munsell, and Eric Wiseman (Cooperative Extension Service-Southern Region)

Also, special thanks to the Bartlett Tree Research Lab.

This project was funded in part through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, recommended by the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.