1. Select a suitable species

Check light, soil and moisture requirements against your yard's conditions.

2. Select location carefully

(Note these distances are for yard locations. Tree to tree distances for naturalization plantings in open areas may be less.)

    Shrubs require at least one square metre of soft surface (grass, garden, etc). Plant at least three metres from existing trees, one metre from buildings, patios or paved surfaces, fences and property lines. Container planting is not recommended, but if necessary should be at least one cubic metre in size to prevent root dehydration.

Trees require at least three square metres of soft surface. Plant at least three metres from existing small trees, six metres from existing large trees, three metres from buildings, two metres from hard surfaces (patio stones, driveway), and one metre from fence or property line. Avoid overhead wires and do not plant in containers.

3. Prepare the hole

It should be two to three times as wide, and the same depth as the root ball. Rough up sides of hole with shovel.

4. Remove the plastic or peat pot

Peat pots eventually decay but can restrict root growth and should be removed. Gently loosen outer roots to encourage growth.

5. Plant at the same level it was in the container

Do not bury base of trunk as this will cause rot. Break up soil chunks and tamp to remove air pockets.

6. Apply natural fertilizer such as compost, in a thin layer on the soil surface

Reapply as needed.

7. Mulch with woodchips, leaves or similar organic material, approximately 8-10cm thick

Form donut shape around base - do not pile mulch up against shrub stem. Replenish often.

8. Water slowly and deeply after planting and as needed

Soil underneath mulch should always feel slightly damp. Check soil moisture frequently first two years after planting.


Prune excessively; apply chemical fertilizers or pesticides; mow, till or weed-wack around the base; compact the soil around the base or cover it with impermeable materials, such as concrete blocks or paving.