Growing A Healthy Tree

Top Ten Tree Planting and Care Tips

Providing proper care and attention to both young and mature trees can prevent potentially hazardous issues. Read below to learn more.


  1. Select a species that is appropriate for your site.

  2. Prepare a wide planting hole. This aerates the soil, decreases establishment time, and promotes healthy distribution of root growth e.g. fewer surfacing roots.

  3. Ensure that when planted, the roots are loosened and pointing away from the trunk. This helps the tree establish while also improving the trees long-term health and stability.

  4. Plant at grade. This promotes healthy root development and helps prevent stress, poor vigor, and decay.

  5. Stake the tree and make adjustments over time so the top of the tree is upright and the trunk can still move in the wind.

  6. Make sure staking will not cause trunk damage. Wounds from the stake rubbing the tree can lead to decay and stress.

  7. Protect the tree from damage, especially to the trunk and roots.

  8. Apply mulch at the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk.

  9. Provide early structural pruning to remove co-dominant stems, rubbing branches, and branches with potential for included or grown together bark, which are prone to breaking.*

  10. Provide early pruning to remove branches that would otherwise have to be cut later when they are large and will leave more significant wounds. Larger pruning cuts can lead to decay and stress.*


*Choosing A Certified Arborist

Choosing a qualified, certified arborist to provide tree care services is very important. Contact Our City Forest at (408) 99-TREES x111 for help selecting a tree care professional.

To learn more, visit these helpful links:
- International Society of Arboriculture website
- Trees Are Good
- Tree Care Industry Association

Tree Care Dos and Don'ts

Contact Us

(408) 998-7337
1590 Las Plumas Ave
San Jose, CA 95133
Nursery: 1000 Spring St.