How To Plant Trees & Plants The Right Way In California

How To Plant Trees & Plants The Right Way In California

By Damian Russell on August, 2 2022
Landscape Tips Inspiration Planting Tips

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Damian Russell

Damian Russell is a nursery pro with over 12 years of experience. He has designed countless landscape designs across California and Texas. Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Damian brings his nursery knowledge to his writings to provide you with the best yard care tips.

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Planting trees and plants in our gardens and landscapes has many benefits. It is good for the environment, adds purpose to our yards, helps to increase the value and curb appeal of our homes, and creates a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere in our properties.

However, planting an inspiring landscape yourself is a lot of work. It is tedious, back-breaking work that if done incorrectly, can cost you a lot of time and money. This is why Moon Valley Nurseries offers free planting on all our box trees!

Planting at gene simmons houseWe wanted the process of obtaining a gorgeous landscape to be easy and hassle-free, so we added the planting of our trees as a courtesy service when you select our world-class trees for your yard.

If you enjoy the DIY work though, we don’t want you to begin the journey of planting your landscape unprepared. Our nursery pros are sharing the steps and tips to planting trees and plants at your home and in your garden or landscape. This is the exact process our professional planting crews use to plant thousands of trees and plants every day.

Tools You'll Need: shovel, pickaxe, spade shovel (for double staking, you’ll also need: pole pounder gloves, lodge poles, green clothesline wire, pliers for clothesline wire, rubber hose tubing)


8 Steps to Planting Trees & Plants Like a Pro

  1. Dig the hole where you want to place your tree or plant about 10% wider than the bucket or container it came in. You’ll also want to dig deep enough to allow the plant to sit about 1-2" above ground level to allow for soil settling after it is planted. This is important because too much space between the root ball and the native soil wall can cause the tree or plant to shift or even fall over.

  2. Remove large rocks and use Landscape Soil Conditioner in the base of the hole. Landscape Soil Conditioner breaks down tough soils to promote better root development as well as making nutrients in the soil more readily available for the roots to absorb.

  3. Remove plant carefully from the container without tearing roots or loosening too much soil. Don't pull shrubs out of the container, cut the container off. Container grown plants that have been acclimated to our native climate and soil do not need to have their roots scored. This can damage the plant and send it into a state of shock or even kill it.

  4. Carefully set your tree into the hole and backfill the extra space with native soil. Double check that your new plant is resting about 1-2” above ground level after being placed in the hole.

  5. Use remaining soil to create a well around the canopy edge to allow for deep, thorough watering. Deep watering helps anchor your tree and prevents shallow root systems which are unstable and will “seek” out water sources, possibly causing damage to nearby waterlines or pool pumps.

  6. Add 2-3 layers of Moon Valley Nurseries’ Premium Planting Mulch to coat the inside of the well. Mulch keeps the tree’s root system cool and further allows a slow release of water to aid in deep watering practices.

  7. Thoroughly water your tree for the first time using Super Charged Moon Juice™. Moon juice acts as a root stimulant and vitamin to help your tree establish to its new home and begin growing beautifully in your yard! Check for any air pockets that appear in the well or around the planting location as this can lead to shock or death of your new tree.

  8. Tamp down all air pockets and fill in with more native soil until the ground is settled around your tree. All that’s left is to enjoy your newly planted tree and the sense of accomplishment of planting it yourself!

How to Double Stake Your Tree

Double staking offers your newly planted tree extra support until the roots have begun to take hold. It is good to double stake most single trunk trees, such as shade trees, fruit trees, and citrus trees for the first year after they are planted. Palm trees, hedges, and multi trunk trees do not need to be double staked.

  1. double staked ficus in front yard landscapeUse a pole pounder to drive two lodge poles into the ground on opposite sides of the tree. Make sure the lodge poles are tilted at a slight angle (about 60 degrees) away from the tree’s canopy.

  2. Take a long cut of clothesline wire and bend it so the two ends meet. Run a piece of rubber hose tubing down the line to the bend.

  3. Wrap the section of the line with the tubing around the trunk of the tree and tie the ends of the clothesline wire around one of the lodge poles.

  4. Take another long cut of wire, wrap it through the rubber tubing against the tree, and tie against the other lodgepole.

  5. Make sure all connections are taut and that the lodge poles are securely anchored.


Knowing where to plant your trees is half the battle when it comes to growing a thriving landscape or garden. For placement advice, feel free to refer to our library of articles for the best landscape design ideas, advice, and inspiration.



Our professional landscape designers also offer free consultations at your home or at the nursery and bring a complete yard design together with free planting from our expert crews to ensure you don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to obtaining the landscape of your dreams!



You can find any materials you need to plant your trees and plants in your landscape at your local Moon Valley Nurseries location. Our pros are happy to help you with any of your planting projects, and we’re just as happy to do the planting for you should you decide you’d like our planting crews to tackle the job!


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