Choosing a site with high conservation value

Your tree planting project needs good planning to make sure that your conservation
efforts will be beneficial for the environment in your community. Here are a few questions to help you identify your tree planting site:
  • Do you know of any locations that could benefit from your activity?
  • Do you know the community groups or other people in your community that could help you identify a site for your tree planting activity?
  • Which tree species are best suited for your tree planting habitat?
The New Brunswick Environmental Network can help you get in touch with groups in your community who can advise you; don’t hesitate to contact us for more information!

Once you decide where your activity will take place, you will have to find out who is the landowner, contact the landowner and make sure you obtain the approval to plant your trees. The landowner could be your municipality, the provincial government, a business, or an individual in your community.

Native tree species to plant

Softwood species: 
  • Balsam fir
  • Eastern hemlock
  • Eastern white cedar
  • Tamarach
  • Pines (jack, red, white)
  • Spruces (black, red, white)

 Hardwood species:
  • Ashes (black, red, white)
  • Basswood
  • Beech
  • Birches (grey, white, yellow)
  • Butternut
  • Elm
  • Ironwood
  • Maples (red, silver, sugar)
  • Oaks (bur, red)
  • Poplars (balsam, largetooth, trembling)

How to plant your trees

There are a lot of documents out there that can offer great information on how to plant trees to maximize your trees survival rate. On the “Tree Canada” website, you will find a great document on how to plant and care for your trees (Canadian Forest Service - Natural Resources Canada. 1992), see the steps below! The website, "Space for Life", also includes a great guide.

Prepare the planting spot

  • Remove grass, weeds and ground cover (turf) within a 50-cm radius of the planting hole. These plants compete with the tree for water and nutrients.
  • Dig the hole at least twice as wide as the container or root ball (to accommodate the entire root system), and to the depth of the root ball.
  • Roughen the sides and bottom of the hole to allow root penetration.
  • If good quality soil is not available, break up the turf taken from the top and put it in the hole around the root ball, where it will break down into good rooting soil. Peat or loam, if added, would improve this mixture.
  • Soil in the hole should be moist, neither too wet nor too dry.
  • A cone-shaped mound of soil at the bottom of the hole is advised for bare-root trees. This will allow the roots to develop downward and outward into the surrounding soil.
Prepare and plant your tree with care

  • Loosen the roots with a spray of water and straighten them to prevent doubling-under, crowding, and crossing. Do not expose the roots to direct sunlight or drying winds for more than a minute to avoid damaging the fine root hairs.
  • The root crown is set on the mound and the roots spread over and down the sides of the mound. Refill the hole with good quality soil, gently raising and lowering the tree while filling to eliminate air pockets.
  • Trees should be kept in the container until the last possible moment before planting.
  • Plant the tree so that the top of the root ball is flush with the top of the hole. Fill the hole in and around the root ball with good quality soil or soil removed from the hole. Tamp the soil around the root ball until the hole is two-thirds full.
  • Fill the remaining space with water to settle the soil and allow the hole to drain. Finish filling the hole with soil and make a ridge of soil around the root ball to direct water towards the roots.
Staking trees larger than one meter is recommended as it prevents dislodging by wind, people, and animals. Make sure the stake ties do not cause damage to the bark. The stakes should be removed after two or three growing seasons.

Check-list for your tree-planting activity
  • Gloves
  • Proper footwear and clothing
  • Watering can or buckets and water
  • Shovel(s)
  • Stakes and ropes (if needed)
  • Wheelbarrow (if needed)
  • First Aid kit
  • Camera/ video camera
  • Water and food
 © 2018 NBEN / RENB