Plant a Tree

Time frame: one day
Outdoor space needed: 30' X 30' (900 square feet)
  1. To develop an apprecation for the environmental and economic value of trees
  2. To properly plant a tree
  3. To successfully grow a tree
Materials needed:
  • Tree (5 gallon, 6-8' tall, 1" trunk diameter)
  • Shovels
  • Ground cloth or tarp
  • Water source and hose
  • Mulch material (pine needles, bark, straw)
Trees add lasting beauty to the community by supplying shade, color and protection from the weather. They attract wildlife such as birds and squirrels by providing them with a natural setting. Trees also have economic value, both by increasing property values and as a source of wood products. For this project, celebrate the lasting value and beauty of trees by planting a tree in the school yard or community!
Select a tree recommended for region from the plant list (table 1). Choose a planting site in the full sun and large enough to accomodate the mature size of the tree (refer to table 1). The location should be away from buildings, other trees and telephone lines.

Spread the ground cloth near the location for the tree to keep the soil dug from the hole off the grass. The hole should be dug 12 inches wider and no deeper than the rootball of the tree. The surface of the rootball should not be below the surrounding soil level.

Place the tree in the hole (be sure it is straight!). Always lift the tree by the rootball, not by the trunk. Fill the area around the rootball with the soil dug from the hole. Build a earthened well around the edge of the hole that was dug (figure 1). Put a 3 inch layer of mulch in the well and then water-in the tree. Be sure to not water the tree too frequently; once a week may be adequate. Follow-up care for at least 6 months is necessary to ensure the health of the tree.

Recommended tree list and map of regional adaptation.
Small trees (15 to 35 feet tall) Region of adaptation
Crape Myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica and hybrids 1,2,3,4,6
Dogwood,*Cornus florida 1
Pink Lady Euonymus, Euonymus bungeanus5
Eastern Redbud,* Cercis canadensis1,4,5
Texas Redbud,* Cercis canadensis texana2,3,6
Large trees (above 35 feet tall)
Bald Cypress,*Taxodium distichum1,2,3,4,5
Bur Oak,*Quercus macrocarpa7
Cedar Elm,*Ulmus crassifolia7
Chinese Pistache, Pistacia chinensis7
Deodar Cedar,Cedrus deodara7
Live Oak,*Quercus virginiana1,2,3,4,6
Loblolly Pine,*Pinus taeda1
Pecan,**Carya illinoinensis7
Soapberry,*Sapiindus drummondii7
Southern Magnolia,*Magnolia grandiflora1
Texas Red Oak,*Quercus texana1,2,3,4,6
*Texas native

**State tree and Texas native