Planting a Tree on Arbor Day: Things to Consider

Does your yard look a little empty? Dreaming of a shady spot to relax after a day of hard work? Sounds like you need to plant a tree. And there’s no better time than Arbor Day, the annual holiday where folks are encouraged to care for and plant trees. In addition to their beauty, trees are an asset to your property because they produce oxygen, slow run off and erosion, decrease noise pollution, clean soil and create shade.

But before you get out there and pick up a shovel, spend some time selecting the optimal planting location. Good planning on your part now will ensure successful tree growth for years to come.

First Things First

Planning begins with a simple phone call. Call before you dig for free information about underground utility locations so you avoid service line damage and injury. While you’re at it, consider your lawn mower route so you don’t create unnecessary obstacles for yourself down the road.

Use this site evaluation checklist to help you choose the best spot to plant a tree in your yard.

Above Ground Site Considerations:

  1. Sunlight exposure: hours of sunlight, reflected light and heat load
  2. De-icing salt usage
  3. Pollution
  4. Overhead wires
  5. Proximity to buildings, structures, light fixtures and signs

Below Ground Site Considerations:

  1. Soil pH: use a soil test kit to measure pH
  2. Soil texture and structure
  3. Soil compaction
  4. Drainage: observe drainage pathways
  5. Soil salinity and other contaminants
  6. Root space restrictions

Arbor Day is traditionally held on the last Friday in April, but it may vary depending on when tree planting is ideal in your region. Search the Arbor Day Foundation map to find out when your state celebrates the holiday. The website will also inform you of your state’s official tree and local volunteer opportunities. Why not plant a tree for yourself, then make it happen for someone else?

Contact your local nursery or home improvement store to ask any questions you may have before planting, and check our website for lawn mower buying guides and spring lawn tips to ensure the rest of your yard is ready to enjoy So get out there and get planting!

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