Once you find the perfect tree, you’ve still got to get it in the ground!
Planting a tree is often much more crucial than you can realize. For your tree to thrive for years to come, it needs to be planted just right.
So, is it worth attempting to DIY, or should you have a professional plant it? Learn more about tree installation prices below.
Tree and Plant Installation Prices: How Much Does a Tree Cost to Plant?
“Well, a lot of factors come into play when deciding the cost of planting a tree. But when it comes down to it, it’s all time-based. If the tree is bigger or you want it planted in a hard-to-reach location, then it will take more time and cost more,” explains Jeff Newborn of Davey’s Kansas City, Missouri office.
What factors determine the cost to plant a tree?
As Jeff mentioned above, there’s no set price when it comes to tree planting.
Instead, when a professional landscaper, like Jeff, provides an estimate for a tree planting, he considers all these factors.
- The location. If the tree is on a hill or way in the backyard, it will take a landscaper longer to transport the tree to that spot. On the flip side, if the tree is going in the front yard, that will be a breeze!
- The size of the tree. As you would guess, a 12-14’ tree is much more difficult to transport than a little sapling. A bigger tree takes more time to move and requires a bigger hole dug as well.
- The size of the crew. Depending on how big the tree is, it may take more than one person to move or plant it.
- Bonus! The guarantee. Davey arborists, like Jeff, guarantee they’ll plant the tree the right way. They’ll also come back and check up on it to make sure it’s doing well. That can make a big difference over the years. That way, you know it’s an investment that will last!
Is planting a tree hard to do?
“Most people think that planting a tree is simple, and they can do it themselves. But, so often it dies within a few years,” Jeff says. “Then, they’re out the cost of that tree (and may have to pay for it to be removed). And they have to buy a new tree altogether!”
Below, Jeff shares the biggest reasons DIY tree planting goes wrong.
- Starting with an unhealthy tree: Wholesale nurseries always get the crème de la crème of plants. When a professional landscaper buys a tree, they get a higher-quality, healthier tree.
- Choosing the wrong tree for that spot: If you plant a tree like a Japanese maple in the full sun, its leaves are always going to curl. No matter what you do that’s going to happen because the tree is not meant to be in a spot like that. A professional arborist will help you find a tree you’ll love that will also thrive in the place you want to plant it! That way, you can avoid problems later.
- Leaving the tree as-is: Jeff often sees people plant the tree with the cage, burlap, and rope still around the tree’s roots. When that happens, the tree’s roots girdle, which cuts off its water supply. Left unchecked, this can cause the tree to die.
- Planting in the wrong-sized hole: Often, people plant the tree too deeply, which can cause dieback or even death. Or, if the hole is only as big as the root ball (instead of 2-3 times wider), the roots won’t grow as deep.
- Using way too much mulch: When you pile mulch against the tree’s trunk, you do as much damage as planting the tree too deep. If that happens year after year, the tree could begin to suffer or die.
“I’ve seen big, beautiful mature trees, break at the exact spot where the trunk was covered with too much mulch. It takes 20 years to happen, but when it falls over, it’s even more devastating,” Jeff says.