How to Plant and Care for TINY TREES
planting tiny trees

Before You Plant

  • You MUST call IA One Call before you dig. Call 811 to provide your address, closest major intersection, how you have marked the planting location(s), and where in your yard you intend to plant.


Planting is easy - dig, set, backfill and water

 plant graphic

  • Dig the hole just deep enough to accommodate all roots so they are not bent in the planting hole. As you remove soil, use your shovel to slice and separate soil chunks, making it more granular if possible. If the roots are downward facing, build a cone of soil and straddle the roots over the cone (see photo).  If the roots are horizontal, gently separate criss-crossing roots prior to backfill. 
  • The planting depth is important! Set the root flare (the point where the vertical tree trunk begins to bend sideways to form roots) at the final soil grade. A tree planted too deep will not survive. Replace the soil that you loosened earlier, back into the planting hole. When 2/3 full, use water to settle the soil.

  • Next, fill the rest of the hole with soil.  To catch rain water, use any extra soil to build a circular soil berm around the tree.  Apply a two inch covering of wood mulch to keep out weeds and retain moisture. Neither soil nor wood mulch should touch the trunk of the tree.

  • Do a final watering, and there you have it. A brand new tree that will grow to provide numerous environmental and economic benefits on your property.


Watering your new Tiny Trees

Select a common household object, such as a pint yogurt tub or a quart milk jug, so that you can measure a single (1) pint of water. Plan to gently pour the pint of water at the base of your new tiny tree 2X’s per week all summer long. The slower you pour, the more water gets to the roots instead of the adjacent soil. Add a 3rd watering if there is drought for more than a week. Ask a neighbor to water if you leave home for more than three days. Water is the MOST important resource to keep your new Tiny Trees alive.


Maintaining your new Tiny Trees

Your Tiny Tree will resemble a ‘stick with branches' when you get it, so no pruning is required for the next 5 years. Only remove an occasional broken branch, and try to never break or prune the top of the vertical tree trunk. Placing a 2” thickness of wood mulch at the base of your tree will do 3 things: keep your mower and string trimmer away; retain moisture in the root zone; and keep unwanted weeds away.


Order Tiny Trees Now

Click on and choose the Residential Order button to reserve your next group of Tiny Trees. 

Additionally, you may also put forward your own BIG ideas about Tiny Trees. Maybe you and your friends, co-workers or group, would like to plant 100’s of Tiny Trees along rivers, in the woods, or in our parks. Click on and choose the Group Order button to begin the conversation about planting a larger group of trees.