Grow a Tree Healthy Guide: How To Plant Trees By Type (Seedling, Cutting)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | January 3, 2024

Couple planting a tree full size after learning how to grow a tree healthy and how to plant a tree by type, from seed, cutting or seedling, as well as tree watering needs for both outdoor and indoor potted trees, fruit trees, and ornamental trees.

Before you learn how to plant a tree properly, you must also know the conditions needed to grow a tree (that particular species, that is) in order for it to become strong and healthy.

There is so much more to tree planting than just burying a seed in the ground or transplanting a seedling and watering it.

Remember that trees are living things, and each species has it’s own unique needs and care requirements.

The best part about planting trees is the fact that there are so many types of trees to choose from.

Whether you want flowering types for your landscape, fast-growing trees for fencing and shading, indoor home decor, or succulents for easy maintenance, there is just no wrong decision when it comes to your choice of tree.

Apart from making your home beautiful, trees also have plenty of benefits for the environment and that ranges from preventing soil erosion to combating climate change.

If this is your first time ever trying to grow a tree or if you don’t know how to plant a tree, this guide provides healthy tips and steps to ensure that your sapling, seed, or cutting has the best chance to thrive.

What Does a Tree Need To Grow? (Requirements for How To Plant a Tree)

Like any other living thing, a tree needs water, food, and nutrients to survive.

While you can provide water and nutrients like fertilizer, the tree has to manufacture its own food through the process of photosynthesis, and that needs sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide from the air.

Providing the above ensures that your tree grows tall, strong, and healthy.

Why Plant Trees: Why Learn How To Grow Tree?

Wondering why almost everyone around you is planting trees? Why are trees important?

The trees’ benefits are uncountable and they directly affect the lives of you and literally other people around you. It is incredible how many trees are planted each year, and that just goes to show how many people understand the impact that they have.

A graphic that shows the benefits of trees such as habitat for wildlife, living fences and privacy, aesthetic appeal, cooling effect, symbolism and commemoration, increased property value, fruit production, calming effect and shade, and physical and mental health benefit.

The following are but a few of the benefits of planting trees.

  • Did you know that trees are vital to physical and mental health? Spending time outdoors is great for your body’s health, helping you reduce anxiety and daily stress. More evidence proves that patients show faster recovery when they spend time looking at trees.
  • Trees are perfect for symbolism, and governments plant them in memorial parks and on special days.
  • When trees line streets, offering shade in driveways, the ride tends to get smoother, and it has quite a calming effect.1
  • You can use trees as living fences, and it helps that they are also practical because they offer you privacy while at the same time filtering out the outside noise.
  • There is literally no better way to complement your house’s architecture and landscaping than by planting ornamental trees around it.
  • They are also known to have a sort of cooling effect on the house and over car parks, especially in summer during unbearable heat.
  • If you knew how much carbon does a tree capture, you would understand that it is one of the most important uses of trees. You should also know how much CO2 does a tree absorb to appreciate just how effectively they improve the air quality, filtering out toxins from the air and giving out oxygen.
  • Trees are home to wildlife, so many birds and land animals depend on them for survival, and you will soon learn this when you have them flocking the trees in your yard.
  • You can grow trees specifically for their fruits and you can use them all year round and sometimes sell them.
  • One exciting aspect about planting trees is that they actually increase a home’s value, sometimes by up to 10% because everyone loves a home with perfect landscaping.14

Factors To Consider Before Tree Planting

Knowing all the benefits of planting trees, it can be convincing to plant some in and around your home. But wait, not so fast.

There are several factors to take into consideration before you grow a tree and you should bear them in mind because they could be the line defining success. Before you learn how to plant a tree, you may want to ask yourself the following questions.

  • Why are you planting the tree? Is it for its flowers, shade, fruits, wood, or because it is low maintenance? Knowing this will actually narrow down your options because you will know the exact tree species that you want to plant.
  • Which types of trees thrive around you? You should know that there are ideal zones for trees and some are not comfortable in certain regions. However, at least knowing which ones are common in your local area will give you an idea of what to plant.
  • Deciduous or evergreen? Do you want a tree that stays green all year round meaning you will never have to rake up leaves or are you going for a deciduous tree with stunning fall colors that make your yard more beautiful?
  • Small or large tree? Can your yard space accommodate a large majestic tree or do you want one that remains relatively small and easy to manage?

How To Grow a Tree Indoors (Growing a Tree Indoors)

Do you want a dash of color in your home?

Feng shui decor maybe? Or are you looking to plant a symbolic tree in your office space?

There are so many ways that you can plant a tree indoors and the options are limitless. The only difference is that indoor trees are meant to grow short and are more often than not used for decor, meaning that they are supposed to be stunning.

A plant indoors with a hint of sunlight on its green leaves.

(Image: kian201824)

Some of the best indoor trees that you can grow include palms, pines, bonsai versions and so many more. All you need is to find the perfect tree, a pot or planter with drainage holes, potting soil, and water, and that’s about it.7


  1. The most important step is to find a perfect size pot and fill it with potting soil, it has to be a correct mix of the right soil and compost or fertilizer to help your plant grow.
  2. Inside the soil, you can either plant a seed or a seedling, but the latter is preferable, especially for first-timers. If you are patient and have a green thumb, you can go ahead and start with the seed, but otherwise, you will only need to plant the seedling inside.
  3. For seeds, you can dig a hole a few inches deep and cover it with soil, whereas, for seedlings, you can place them inside the planter and add more soil to cover the root ball and press the top a bit to get rid of air pockets.
  4. You are practically done at this point and the only thing left is to add water and keep taking care of your tree.

Tips and Care for Indoor Trees

  • When picking an indoor tree you want to choose one that will be safe for pets and kids because some trees and plants are extremely poisonous.16
  • Never compromise on the soil quality, otherwise, the tree will fail to grow.
  • You should also avoid moving the tree around a lot to give it time to adjust to its surroundings.
  • Drainage holes are a must for your pot because they help you avoid overwatering.
  • You want to be careful that the tree doesn’t get bigger than its pot, and you can switch to a larger planter the more it grows.
  • To be safe, you should often check the tree for pests and diseases.
  • Even as indoor trees, remember that sunlight is still very important and you can either plant your tree under a well-lit window or take it outside for some sun.
  • A common mistake made by owners is watering their indoor trees from above. The last thing you want is to leave the leaves damp all the time because it invites diseases so water at the soil level.

How To Grow a Tree in a Pot: How To Plant a Potted Tree

Do you live in a region with harsh winters? Then you should know how to plant a potted tree because there is literally no better way to give your plants a safe space to live and thrive.

Having outdoor potted trees gives you the advantage of being able to carry them back into the house when it gets too cold.

A graphic that shows how to plant a potted tree with an image of a man and woman planting a young tree on the ground.

And on the other hand, indoor potted trees look incredible as home decor and it helps that they are also easier to manage. But what about large trees in pots?

You may ask, is it possible to grow a large tree inside a pot?

Of course, you can. The only adjustment that you will have to make is to ensure that the container has sufficient space to accommodate the root ball that will definitely grow massive and also be aware that the tree may need a little more TLC if you want it to grow bigger.2


Note: most trees bought from nurseries tend to come in containers and the steps will follow through with that.

  1. Measure the container that the plant originally comes in, and dig a hole that is at least twice that size in the planter that will be its final home.
  2. Take out the tree from its old pot, careful that you don’t yank it because you need the root ball intact.
  3. Place the tree in the center then backfill the hole and tap the soil to secure the tree in a straight upright position and to ensure that you don’t leave any air pockets. Water the soil and keep caring for your plant.

Tips for How To Plant a Tree in a Container

  • Clay is the best material for your container because it usually stays stable outdoors and you definitely want that for your large outdoor potted trees.
  • You can also opt for plastic pots that are more lightweight if your tree has to be moved frequently.
  • Even when the tree is in a container, either indoors or outdoors, you should still maintain its proper care and maintenance, provide water, fertilizer, and at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, either direct or indirect depending on the species.17

How To Plant a Tree for Fruits: Fruit Tree Farming

Trees are beautiful growing in your yard, no doubt about that, but imagine if that said tree was also producing fruits for your subsistence or even commercial use.

Fruits trees are some of the main reasons why many people want to learn how to grow a tree and the following are some of the top fruit selections and how to plant them.

How To Plant an Apple Tree

The apple fruit is one of the most common fruit types known for its juicy goodness, so knowing how to grow an apple tree is a great way to ensure you have fruit all year long.

Literally, anyone would want apple trees growing in their home and if you are one of them, you would want to know how to go about planting an apple tree.

First things first, the apple tree can be quite hardy, able to grow across various USDA zones, some are hardy enough to survive in zones 3 while others can go ahead to live in zones 9.

Another impressive feature is that planting apple trees is also pretty simple.

Plant in slightly acidic soils and dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball and place the seedling 2 feet deep, spreading out the roots and refilling the hole. And you should be done with that.

Alternatively, you may also want to know how to grow an apple tree from a seed. It may not be the most convenient way of learning how to grow apple trees but it is very possible.

You start by preparing the seeds through stratification, storing them in the fridge for like 6 weeks before planting. The safest way to go is planting it in pots indoors and only transplanting outdoors when the seedlings are 4-6 inches high.

Wondering how long does a apple tree take to grow? You may have to wait for 4-8 years until maturity but it is certainly worth it.

How To Plant a Peach Tree

The peach fruit is nothing short of impressive; whether you want a snack or an ingredient in your pies and desserts.

Do you want your own peach tree growing right in your yard?12 Well, you will be fascinated to find out that planting peach trees is simpler than you think.

If you want to grow the happiest peach trees, you should start with picking the right variety by checking the chill hours and whether your location will be able to provide that.

If starting with the sapling, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball and place the tree while spreading out its roots. Backfill the soil and water, and that should do it.

But, what if you want to know how to grow a peach tree from seed?

If you are patient enough, you can start with the seeds, taking out the kernel and placing them in the fridge for at least a month, the same thing you do with apple trees.4 You can then go ahead to plant it like you would with a seedling.

Are you thinking of how fast does a peach tree grow? You can expect at least a foot of growth each year and a minimum of 3 years before maturity.

How To Plant a Banana Tree

Did you know that the banana tree is actually a banana plant with a massive soft trunk instead of a woody stem?

The fruit is a staple in many kitchens and it is no wonder you are considering growing bananas in your home.

The best part is that there are also banana tree indoors or you can go big with having a banana plantation.

Several banana trees in an open field.

Here is how to grow a banana tree in easy steps.

First, dig a large and deep hole, about twice the root ball and one foot deep, then add manure first followed by an inch layer of soil then place the plant, adding soil gently while pressing it at the base.

Note that the banana is a tropical fruit that needs regular watering and plenty of sunlight to grow healthy.

How To Plant a Lemon Tree

The lemon tree is another must-have in our fruit garden.

If you are keen on how to grow a lemon tree, one thing to remember is the fact that it is quite sensitive to cold but generally easy to plant and care for.

All you need to do is dig a sizable hole, place the seedling, and cover up the soil with an inch or two of manure, water, and mulch.

Are you wondering how to plant a lemon tree in a pot? Well, a potted lemon tree looks stunning in a container as long as there is enough room and sufficient drainage to avoid waterlogging.

Another common question is how to grow a lemon tree from seed. Quite simple really, just take fresh seeds, clean and plant them as you wait for them to germinate.

Lastly, how long do lemon trees take to grow? You may wait 4-7 years before you see the first fruits depending on how you planted the tree.

How To Grow a Cherry Tree From a Seed

You can’t help but love the taste of cherries in baked goods and salads and you can have a constant supply right from your garden.

Like other fruit trees, cherries are pretty simple to grow from the seeds, all you have to do is to cold stratify them before planting, and they will do great.

First, take fresh seeds, clean and dry them then wrap them up and store them in the refrigerator for up to three months and that should kick start their germination process.

The seeds should be able to start sprouting two weeks after planting them in potting soil in indoor planters. With proper care and maintenance, the fruits will start showing in the fourth year after planting.

How To Plant a Tree for Shade (Fast-Growing Trees)

Shade trees are a common sight to see in people’s homes.21

It can get extremely hot, especially in the summer and you may want to know how to plant a tree that grows fast enough for use as a shade tree.

The best thing about shade trees is that they are able to cool down your home when it’s hot, warm it up when it’s too cold, and serve as a windbreaker.

Trees growing as fences are known to save your energy bills by as much as 25%, which is a perfect reason to grow them.6 Besides, there is no better way to improve your curb appeal than by adding stunning trees to your landscaping.

It all starts with carefully picking the right species, the last thing you want to do is end up with a tree that takes forever to grow.

Once you have settled for the perfect fast-growing tree that will do well in your zone, it is time to get down to the business of planting.

First, dig a hole that is bigger than the pot that the tree comes in and it should be deep enough for the root collar to be level with the top layer of the soil on both sides, not deeper or shallower than that.

One problem that most first-timers have when trying to grow a tree from a pot into the ground is not knowing how to take it out.

You can lay down the container and press the sides to loosen the soil, which should do the trick and let you effortlessly pull out the tree with its root ball intact. Stretch out the roots before placing them in the hole and then refiling the soil again.

So, when is the right time to plant shade trees?

You can plant indoors at any time if they are container plants, but for outdoor setups, it is safe to plant in spring when the weather is more favorable.

Another factor that often goes ignored is the planting site. You should always pick the perfect spot for your tree that is away from shading so that your tree will be able to receive sufficient sunlight and rainwater.

How To Plant an Ornamental Gardening Tree

Looking at ornamental trees, you will understand why homeowners are striving to learn how to grow a tree in their space.

Trees do quite a lot for your landscaping, including adding a sort of height and layout, and some types of trees are specifically chosen for this single role, to serve as ornamental trees that make your house stand out.

What you are looking for is a tree with attractive fall colors, beautiful blossoms, and overall ease on the eyes. There is an endless list of types that match this description so you can sift one out depending on your USDA hardiness zone and your specific preferences.

Once you have the perfect spot for your tree, you want to dig a hole that can accommodate the roots and place the sapling inside, covering it with the soil you had dug out.

If you want to secure the tree upright, you can stake it to prevent wind rock.13

The staking should be at least a third of the tree’s height, dug at a 45-degree angle, and secured using a tree tie, and that should stay on for maybe a year or so. You can also learn more about staking and guying trees.

Are you not sure about the perfect spot for your ornamental tree? There is no wrong way to go; you can plant them as living fences around your home, in your front or back yard, on your porch, or wherever you want them.

However, most people opt for planting theirs as the focal point in the garden and sometimes group them with other flower plants.

No matter which way you go, you will be certain that your tree will command the attention that it deserves.

How To Plant a Shrub

The tall and massive trees are not everyone’s go-to because some homeowners actually prefer their trees to grow shrub-like, short, and easy to manage.

Shrubs are not any less attractive, and as a matter of fact, sometimes they are the perfect trees for your landscaping needs, the way they grow closely together and form a stunning hedge is enough reason to make you want to learn how to plant a tree that grows relatively short.

The types of shrubs that you can go for are countless and you can go for the one that suits your preference, just as long as your location will provide all its needs.

Confirm its growing zone and water and sun requirements first before making the ultimate decision to plant it. Some also consider other factors like the leaf and flower color but your best shot should be evergreen that stays intact all through the year.

Many prefer growing their shrubs together with other trees, and if that is what you want, you have to consider the distance. A common mistake is planting the trees too close together, denying them sufficient room to grow and get as much sunlight as possible.

Before planting your shrubs, you should check that the soil is free of rocks and other substances that would prevent effortless growth.

Dig a hole the right size, as you would with virtually any other tree, then loosen the roots to help them grow faster after planting. After placing the seedling in the ground, you want to make sure that the soil cover after refilling is even with the rest of the ground.

After that, you can also add a thin layer of mulch at the base to help not only conserve water but also to hinder the growth of weeds.

For the best results, you may opt for a plant starter mixture as soon as you are done planting.5

Water is also very important to keep the tree well moisturized and you can go for drip irrigation or normal watering 1-3 times a week depending on the presence of rainfall and the prevailing temperatures.

Also, remember that shrubs need pruning once in a while based on the species and its growing patterns.

How To Grow Desert-Adapted Trees in a Garden

Are you that gardener that can’t get enough of succulents and xeriscape plants or plants that are drought resistant?15 Then you will be thrilled to know that planting them is probably one of the easiest you will ever do in your garden.

If you are afraid that where you live is generally hot and dry, that doesn’t mean that you cannot have gorgeous plants growing in your home.

There is a long list of breathtaking desert plants that a homeowner would love to grow. There are slim and tall ones, short and round ones, spiky, thick-leafed, and so many other designs that would look perfect for your garden.

And the best part? The fact that you don’t have to constantly worry about rainfall and watering them frequently.

They should be fine with very little care and maintenance, isn’t that perfect if you are often forgetful? They are also beginner friendly and a great start if you are afraid that you will kill them.

So how do you plant a desert-adapted plant?

While you can plant them at virtually any time of the year, many homeowners prefer doing that in spring when the ground is warmer and for the trees to have ample time to establish their roots.

The first thing to do after digging the hole is to check the soil’s drainage. You want to confirm that there will be no water logging because, in a unique twist, too much water could potentially kill the tree.

If certain, you are now free to gently place the tree inside and backfill the hole then water adequately, not too much. You can also add mulch at the top to preserve the water and keep off weeds.

Apart from planting in the ground outdoors, you can also go a different route and plant the tree indoors.

Desert plants and succulents make amazing houseplants, and you can use them for decor or as office plants to add a touch of color and a certain calming effect to your space.

There is no way you can possibly kill these plants, even if you have the blackest thumb ever.

How To Grow a Tree From a Seed: Growing Trees From Seeds

Buying or saving seeds for planting may not be your ideal way to go. Many find it less convenient, which is unlike starting with seedlings from nurseries.

They have a point because with seeds, you have to wait a while before they can germinate, and sometimes even that fails to happen.

The time between planting and growth to become a mature tree will be lengthy, depending on the species, but totally worth the wait.

But regardless of these challenges, there are some upsides to growing trees from seeds because it is where all life forms start anyway.

For one, seeds are cheaper than seedlings and as a matter of fact, they may be free because you can save them from the fruits you eat. You can grow as many trees as possible this way using the least amount of investment.

So, what can you grow from seeds? Almost anything, from nuts to fruit trees, and some will even surprise you by growing in the truest form of the parent breed.

You will take seeds and ensure that they are clean before planting, especially if you have collected them from fleshy fruits. Dry them using a kitchen towel or paper and with that, they should be good to go.

While some seeds are ready for planting immediately after collecting, some, like those from apples and cherries, need to be cold-stratified first because that is how they usually grow in the wild after winter.3,19

They have to stay in the cold for a while, and you can artificially provide that by storing them in the fridge for a few weeks or even up to three months. They may even be germinating by the time you get them out, which makes your job all the easier.

You can then go ahead and plant them in a pot or outdoors if it is warm enough outside. You will only have to dig at least 2 inches deep and place the seeds, cover, and water the soil and that’s all.

Under proper care and maintenance, the seedlings should be popping out in a few weeks. After a little while, say, a few months; the seedling will have grown enough to be transplanted to its final home.

Trees Growth Stages

When you come to think of it, it is pretty incredible how a tree evolves from a tiny seed to become a giant tree towering over others.

A graphic that shows the different tree growth stages such as seed dispersal, root formation, growth and maturity, and decomposition.

It tells you a lot about how nature works, and you can imagine how fantastic it can be to be part of this entire journey of planting your seed or seedling and watching it grow to become a humongous tower.

The life cycle of a tree is pretty straightforward and cuts across all the species. They all start from seeds, and it all ends in death and decomposition, basically what happens with all living things.

Do you want to go on the tree’s life journey and learn how everything plays out?

Stage 1: Seed Dispersal

Literally, all life forms start from a seed, whether plant, animal, or human life. For the trees in the wild, everything starts with the dispersal of the seeds.

It is fascinating how each tree species has its own unique seed dispersal method in accordance with the nature of its seeds. The seeds are biologically designed to increase the chances of success.

Some have light seeds that are easily dispersed by the wind, while others rely on human and animal activities. No matter the method of dispersal, the seeds will always find a way to conquer new territories and grow their own colonies.

It is all a vicious cycle; the tree forms after dispersal, and the very same disperses its seeds that grow into other trees, which is what leads to the forests that exist today.

Stage 2: Root Formation

This is the stage that comes after seed dispersal that determines whether stage 1 will be successful or not.

It is easy for the seeds to fall off the tree, but their growing into strong, healthy trees is an entirely different thing. All the environmental conditions have to work perfectly for the seed to grow.

It is kind of like how to plant a tree: you just can’t throw a seed onto the ground and expect a tree later.

There must be careful care and maintenance, otherwise, nothing much will happen after that. Here is where the soil type and its nutrient content, water availability, and other external factors come to play.

It is only when the seed is comfortable that it will germinate and develop its first root that works through in the soil and establishes the foundation that the tree will rely on all through its life.18

Stage 3: Growth and Maturity

This is definitely the longest stage in the tree’s entire life: in fact, this is the tree’s whole life because it is the stage that you get to fully enjoy as a tree owner.

There is quite a lot that happens at this point because it is immediately after germination, starting with the sapling stage, where the tree starts to establish itself more.

It is when it will need more TLC to help it grow stronger roots; nothing should go wrong in this stage, which is when you have to keep the tree as comfortable as you can. Under proper care, the stem grows, and the plant’s tissues thicken gradually.

By this time, the tree has long established a pattern for its physiological processes, and everything is on track leading to maturity.

This is when you can start to enjoy all that your tree has to offer. The flowers bloom, fruits form afterward, the canopy widens for shade, and the tree reaches its perfect height, ideal for its landscaping needs.

Your tree’s truest identity shows at this stage, and depending on the species, you can have plenty of years to enjoy all this.

Stage 4: Death

Again, like all life forms, everything with a beginning certainly has an end.

After years of service, your tree approaches old age and finally dies a natural death; that is only if you are lucky because some trees don’t die of old age.

There are so many stressors out there that can kill your tree at its peak, and that explains the emphasis on proper care and maintenance.

The number one cause of tree death is natural calamities, like fires, floods, thunderstorms, and other natural phenomena that can uproot or crash down your tree.10

Another factor to watch out for is tree pests and diseases that affect the tree’s health and eventually cause it to die. There are also man-made influences like illegal logging.

How Long Does It Take for Trees To Grow?

It is and will always be a game of time and chance when it comes to planting trees. If you have just learned how to grow a tree, you should also know that you will constantly have to ask yourself when the tree will reach certain milestones.

When will the first flowers appear? When will the fruits show up? When will it be big enough for shade?

So many “when”.

Like other living things, trees need time to grow, and there are several factors that determine when this happens. It chiefly relies on the type of tree that you plant and the current conditions in the region.

For instance, the Weeping Willow and the Thuja Green grow within a very short time and can be an astounding 15 feet in 5 years.

On the other hand, there are also species that grow at a medium rate, like the Flowering Dogwood and the Sugar Maple, that reach the same height in about 10 years.

Still, there are the slow but sure growers like the White Oak and Japanese Maple that seem to take their sweet time when growing but when they finally do, you will certainly feel their presence and they will serve you for decades, some even past a century.

Another factor that determines a tree’s growth rate is its prevailing conditions.11

Does it have enough water? Is there sunlight? What is the soil type? Is it growing in a compatible USDA zone?

All these factors come to play to influence how fast, healthy, and strong the tree grows to be. That is why you will notice that the rate of your tree’s growth increases under proper care and maintenance.

The common factor that tends to cut across all the various types of trees is the fact that starting with seeds takes a longer time in comparison to planting a seedling or a cutting.

Therefore, if you are in a hurry for your tree to grow, you might want to go for a very strong seedling or start with a cutting that will not take ages to get to maturity.

While everyone would want to go for the fastest-growing trees, you probably should also know that there are some downsides to that.

You will notice that the faster a tree grows, the weaker its wood and the more susceptible it is to pests and diseases. They also tend to lead shorter lives than the slow-growing trees.

You may also be wondering how to tell how old a tree is by just looking at it.

One trick that always seems to work is counting the rings around the cross-section of the tree, starting with the circle in the middle and counting your way outwards. The number of rings automatically equals the tree’s age.

Alternatively, you can also use a tree age calculator, which is more convenient and doesn’t require you to cut the tree first and check the lines.

How To Make Trees Grow Faster

Trees have so many benefits, and it is normal for you as a new owner to be a little bit anxious, wanting them to do what they were planted for.

Maybe you want the tree to grow fast to provide shade, beautify your home or offer fruits for you.

A graphic that shows how to make trees grow faster with a man and a woman taking care of a mature and young tree.

Not to worry, here are easy things that you can do to encourage your tree to grow faster than ever.

Carefully Select the Fastest Growers

This is particularly important for those who want to know how to grow a tree for shade or fruits.

It all starts with picking the right species that will not give you trouble when it comes to growing tall and reaching maturity faster.

You can do a deep dive into the types of trees that will grow best in your USDA zone and find out what their growth rate is before planting.

Give Your Trees Room To Grow

One of the main reasons why trees lag behind when it comes to the growth rate is because of congestion and stiff competition for resources.

What you need is a tree that has more than enough room to develop a healthy root system, and there are no tight-growing trees that will prevent that.

You will also find out that pests and diseases thrive more when the trees grow too close to each other; a 3-foot distance apart may be enough for most trees.9

Provide Water

You know by now exactly how important water is for trees, but you may not know that they also accelerate growth.

When the moisture levels are more than enough, the tree is able to handle all its physiological processes, and there will be enough resources for faster growth.

Mulch the Trees

Mulching may not seem like an obvious remedy, but it is of great help in the tree’s growth.22

Not only does it improve water retention capabilities, but tree mulch also has a way of discouraging weeds from growing around your tree and competing with it for resources.

Prune Your Trees

This is a classic. It is not a myth that regularly pruning your trees will encourage them to grow.

You see when you eliminate old growth, you give a chance for the new growth to come back bigger and better.

It is also a great chance to shop off diseased parts and help the tree focus more on growth of the healthy branches and leaves.

When To Plant Tree: Best Time To Plant a Tree?

Once you get the timing right, you will be a step closer to growing a stunning and healthy tree.

Many planters fail because they just don’t know that there is a proper timing when it comes to planting trees.

You can’t plant in winter and expect the seeds or seedlings to comfortably grow. The best time for planting will be in early spring when the weather is cool and there is no danger of frost.

It is conditions like these that give the tree ample time to establish its roots before the rain in spring starts and the air gets heated up. This way, the tree can focus more on its growth and nothing else.

This timing mostly applies to outdoor trees, but the case is a bit different when it comes to indoor and potted plants. For them, they can be planted at any time of the year, just as long as the indoor conditions stay perfect.

If you are taking the safe route and starting indoors, you should also know that the care and maintenance remain the same.

Regardless, your tree will still need light, water, and conducive temperatures. That is why you may have to invest in an indoor grow light for the coldest months to mimic natural sunlight.

On the other hand, if you live in a tropical or subtropical region where there is no issue with winter, you can plant at any time of the year, but for the best results, you can plant just before heavy rains start.

How To Plant a Tree in the Right Spot

Some first-timers tend to forget that they have to find the perfect spot for their tree before planting.

The last thing that you want to do is to uproot your tree because you planted it in the wrong place. Remember that that is supposed to be its home for decades and should be carefully selected.

For one, check the sun and how it moves, and whether the spot will be shaded or not. This is very crucial for fruit trees that need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.

Secondly, before planting the tree, decide what happens if there are already bushes, plants, or grass on the site. Will you dig them out, or would you rather find a different spot?

While short trees don’t often have complications, you will have to carefully consider where you plant a tree that will definitely grow giant.

You can start by reading the tag or researching to find out how tall the tree is supposed to get and work backward from there.

You want to check for whatever is overhead, maybe power lines that should never be touched by trees.20 Otherwise, you may end up being forced to cut down your precious tree when it gets older and taller.

Professionals will also tell you that you should never plant your trees near the roof or too close to the house.

The growing parts may interfere with the shingles or damage the roof, and the most common scenario is during bad weather when the tree or parts of it fall onto the house, causing damages and fatalities (that is in extreme cases).

You also want to check on what is going on underneath the planting spots because you want to avoid underground lines; some tree roots tend to grow massive and can ruin whatever gets in their way.8

Which Is the Best Planting Method Between Tree Seeds and Cuttings?

There are three main ways to plant a tree, starting with the seed, planting a seedling, or propagating from a cutting. Each has its ups and downsides, but there is a strong battle between using cutting and growing from cuttings.

Propagation From Seeds

Seeds come about as products of reproduction between two trees and end up having a distinct genetic modification, unlike the parents. It is only in true-to-seed cases where the seeds grow to be exact copies of the parent breeds.

The best part about starting with seeds is that you get the chance to experiment and end up with totally unique plants, but still, if you want some desirable traits, you can always opt for careful breeding.

You get the chance to create a totally different gene, and if lucky, you may actually end up planting trees with certain unique features, maybe immunity to certain diseases or pests.

However, on the downside, seeds are not easy to predict. You never know what you are growing, and you may plant trees with undesirable traits.

Propagation From Cuttings/ Vegetative Propagation

In this form of planting, you can use various parts of a tree to grow another that is entirely identical to the parent breed.

If you are a first-timer and don’t know how to grow a tree from a branch, root, or stem, you will appreciate how fast and convenient the process is.

It is impressive how you can find a tree with certain traits and get the chance to clone it or grow its twin that bears all the great features.

The tree retains the parent’s growth habits, quality of the fruits, canopy size, and other characteristics that you admire.

This is fascinating because it allows certain tree types to keep existing, all thanks to repeated vegetative propagation, such that the cultivar doesn’t ever get lost with the death of the parent breed.

However, on the downside, this method of propagation has the disadvantage of leaving the subsequent trees susceptible to certain diseases and pests.

Another problem with cuttings is that not all trees are able to develop through vegetative reproduction, and you will have to rely on seeds and seedlings to grow them.23

Care and Maintenance After Planting a Tree

Now that you know how to plant a tree and all other related pieces of information, the final step is knowing proper care and maintenance.

Remember that this could be the factor that determines how fast your tree grows or even if it grows at all. So what are the basic tips for caring for your precious tree?

  • Water – The best thing you can ever do for your tree is to keep it moist, not waterlogged, but moist. It is particularly important for the first two years when the tree is struggling to establish its roots. Unless you are dealing with a desert tree, you want to deeply water at least once a week.
  • Sunlight – Whether your tree can survive on direct or indirect sunlight, you want to make sure that at least you provide 4-6 hours a day, based on the type of the tree. This also applies to indoor plants that can grow under a window or a grow light.
  • Temperature – Don’t overlook your tree’s temperature requirements; that is the main reason why you have to consider the growing zone before planting. Some trees will not be able to grow under extremely cold or hot temperatures, and you want to provide additional heat when growing indoors or shading as required.
  • Fertilizer – You should also look up your tree’s soil needs to be able to provide the nutrients that it needs to grow healthy and strong. You can fertilize once or twice a year, depending on the tree, but most don’t need it in their first years of life.
  • Mulching – There is so much that mulching does for a tree, and you can make it a habit early on in your tree’s life. It will help prevent moisture loss, harbor weed growth and create an insulating layer for the soil.

How Much Do Trees Cost? Is It Cheap To Grow a Tree?

There are plenty of factors that determine how much a tree will cost you to grow.

Depending on the size, type, and several other factors, planting a tree can set you back anything between $100 all the way to $2,000.

A white two-story house with a dark roof at dusk, with a large tree with dense foliage to the right, under a sky with shades of pink and orange at sunset.

(Image: Craig McLachlan25)

It is now up to you to find which one is more affordable, but regardless, it will surely be worth the price.

There you have it. If you were previously worried about being a tree owner, maybe your doubts have been cleared after finding out just how simple it is to grow various types of trees.

You can never go wrong with growing a tree in your home, no matter what you need it for, whether it is shade, fruits, or for ornamental value.

Trees have so many other benefits that go beyond beautifying your home, and you should at least consider planting one at some point.

The steps are too simple; anyone can be able to grow a strong healthy tree, and it helps that it doesn’t really take much of your time and effort.

There are countless tree types and options, and you will definitely have plenty of choice when you decide to grow a tree, but the ultimate first step is knowing how to plant a tree, and the rest should fall into place.

Frequently Asked Questions About Grow a Tree

What Are the Steps for Mulching Around a Tree?

When planting around the tree’s base, you should make sure that you are using the right organic materials. You will place a 2-4 inch mulch layer but leave some space between the mulch and the tree’s trunk, maybe a 2-inch gap.


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