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University of Minnesota Extension

Planting and transplanting trees and shrubs

Quick facts

  • Select trees and shrubs for a site based on the ability of the plant to handle the soil, light, climate, and residential conditions present at that location.
  • There are different planting and transplanting methods for bare root, packaged, container grown and containerized, and balled and burlapped tree stock.
  • Tree spades are another option for planting and transplanting.
  • Practice after-planting care by watering, mulching, fertilizing, pruning, staking, and exercising winter care.

When planting and transplanting trees and shrubs, considering the site conditions and the type of tree stock is important. There are recommended trees for each region of Minnesota that will perform well in their specific environment. After planting, take care of the new tree or shrub by watering, mulching, fertilizing, pruning, staking and exercising winter care.

Planning the site

The conditions of the planting site are as important as the plant. Consider soil type and drainage, available water and sunlight, exposure to drying winds and other factors. Matching the needs of the plant to the site increases the plant’s performance and longevity.


Different tree and shrub stocks






After-planting care


Jeffrey H. Gillman and Gary R. Johnson

Reviewed in 2018

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