Planting and Establishing Shrubs and Trees

Learn proper planting procedures and staking techniques to ensure that your shrubs and trees thrive.

| June 2016

  • planting shrub
    Careful planning and soil preparation is necessary for freshly planted trees and shrubs to remain a healthy part of your yard.
    Photo by Fotolia/Roman Milert
  • weeding ground
    Remove perennial weeds such as bindweed and couch grass before planting. They can deprive your tree or shrub of nutrients if left to grow.
    Photo by Fotolia/roboriginal
  • h-shaped stake
    Securely staking a young tree is essential until the roots are established. The H-shaped stake is one of three common types of tree stake.
    Photo by Fotolia/ihervas
  • mulch
    Adding mulch to trees and shrubs reduces moisture loss from the soil.
    Photo by Fotolia/sherez
  • Trees and Shrubs cover
    "Home Gardener’s Trees and Shrubs" by David Squire is an essential guide to selecting, planting and maintaining trees and shrubs in your outdoor space.
    Cover courtesy Fox Chapel Publishing

  • planting shrub
  • weeding ground
  • h-shaped stake
  • mulch
  • Trees and Shrubs cover

Home Gardener’s Trees and Shrubs (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2016) by David Squire is an essential guide to selecting, planting and maintaining trees and shrubs in your outdoor space. Squire’s guide includes a comprehensive plant directory to help you choose the best species for your area, as well as advice on how to properly prune and avoid disease and pests.

How important is careful planting?

It is essential to plant a shrub or tree with great care and part of this is to ensure that the soil has been well prepared. Ideally, this involves digging it several months earlier, breaking up the subsoil (especially if it is impervious to water), adding well-decomposed garden compost or manure and removing perennial weeds. Shrubs and trees become permanent parts of gardens and therefore deserve careful planting. Securely staking trees is also essential.

Perennial Weeds

Annual weeds such as Chickweed and Groundsel can be easily removed, but perennial types are more difficult. If left, stems and leaves choke plants and deprive them of water and food. Dangerous weeds include:

Bindweed: twining stems and deep roots.



Celandine: yellow flowers in spring, with spreading roots.

Couch Grass: deep, spreading roots.






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