How Deep Should Trees Be Planted?

Pennsylvania entrepreneur Brendan Wetzel is the owner and president of Yardley Landscaping and Paving Company in Bucks County. Under the leadership of Brendan Wetzel, the landscaping company provides numerous services, including tree planting.

When you plant a tree, deeper is not always better. Planting a tree too deeply increases the risk of the tree’s death.

Normally, the roots grow out from the tree in search of water, minerals, and oxygen. However, in soil that is too deep, the roots grow upward and may grow back toward the trunk instead of away from it. As the tree grows and the trunk expands, pressure on the root cuts off nutrients to the tree and slowly strangles it.

To prevent this, trees should be planted only as deep as the root flare. This is the section of the trunk that begins expanding. Once a tree is fully planted, the trunk flare should be only partially visible over the top layer of soil.

All trees have this flare, though spotting it is more difficult in younger plants. When the trunk flare is not obvious, search for the natural curve in the trunk from which the roots branch off of. This curve is the tree’s root flare.