Join the RHS today and support our charitable work
Your free RHS gardening coach
Keep track of your plants with reminders & care tips – all to help you grow successfully
RHS members get reduced ticket prices
RHS members get free access to RHS Gardens
Free entry to RHS members at selected times »
Reduced prices on RHS Garden courses and workshops
020 3176 5800
Mon – Fri | 9am – 5pm
Help us achieve our goals
Join the RHS today and support our charity
There is nothing more satisfying than planting a tree and watching it grow over the coming years. Follow our steps below to get your tree off to a good start.
It is important to understand the eventual height and spread of whatever tree you plant - check labels or look for free information on our website. The best time to plant is between October and April.
Dig a hole three times as wide as the pot and the same depth. Loosen the soil around the hole with a fork.
Thoroughly soak the root ball in water before planting - standing it in a bucket is good for this.
Loosen the root ball to encourage roots to grow into the soil.
Place the root ball in the hole so that the point where the roots meet the trunk is level with the surface of the soil surface.
A piece of wood can be useful to check the level.
Refill the hole ensuring there are no air pockets around the roots. Firm the soil around the tree making sure the stem remains upright.
Use a tree guard or spiral if your garden has wildlife visitors who may want to nibble the bark.
Water well. Add a 5-8cm (2-3in) layer of mulch but leave a 10cm (4in) mulch-free collar around base of stem.
Top-heavy trees will probably need staking. Put the stake in firmly at a 45 degree angle - use a hammer to make sure it's secure.
Now attach a tie to your tree to support it in windy weather. Garden centres can show you how to do this when you buy it.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.