Call Before You Dig!

Congratulations! You’re contributing to the world’s oxygen supply and planting a tree …but where do you put it, how deep should the hole be, can you replace an existing tree, what else do you need to know?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

There are lots of things that you need to know before you plant a tree, not just that you need to dig a hole. The city requires you to ‘call before you dig’ to make sure that you don’t dig into any important pipes or wires.

It may seem like a hassle, but I guarantee you, if you dig into a gas pipe or hydro line, both hassle and cost to you are increased two fold. You could potentially injure yourself or someone else, incur costly repairs and even a law suit…it’s not worth the risk.

Call to make arrangements 1-800-400-2255


Once you call the city, they will have someone come out to mark your garden with spray paint and flags to let you know where the pipes and wires are. Don’t stress about the paint, it grows out, and it allows you to dig with confidence knowing that you’re not going to destroy anything.

If you’re planning on removing an old tree in order to replace it with a younger version, check with your city bylaws to make sure that you are permitted to cut the tree down. There are certain trees that are protected, trees of a certain dimension which can’t be cut down, as well many cities are attempting to preserve endangered bird species, so you’ll need to ensure that there are no nests in your tree.

So, now that you’ve done your due diligence; you’re ready to dig. Here’s where you consider your soil type. There are certain allowances that need to be made for clay soil, but we can get to those in a moment.

Let’s start with all other soil types.

  • Dig your hole 1 ½ times wider, and a few inches deeper than the pot or root ball.
    • Be sure to add triple-mix to the removed soil, now’s the time to amend the soil type and PH.
  • Remove the plant from the pot and gently roughen the root ball, freeing some of the roots to explore their new home.
  • Gently rub a Mori Gardens recommended transplant fertilizer around the root ball and place the tree in the centre of the hole.
    • An Acti-Sol natural transplant fertilizer containing bone meal is recommended to spread in the hole. This fertilizer is natural and will not burn your plants from over use.
  • Make sure that the top of the root ball is level with the ground. You don’t want to bury it any deeper or the tree will suffocate.
  • Fill the hole with the amended soil, pack it firmly around the tree and water thoroughly.

    One tip for watering is to actually fill the hole with water ‘before’ you plant the tree, and let it drain into the ground ‘before’ you plant the tree.

  • Now that your tree is planted, and watered, add mulch, it looks nice and it preserves moisture.

Now for the clay soil.

There are plenty of plants and trees that flourish in clay soil, but it’s a good idea to know both your soil type and your tree’s preference before you plant.

  • When planting trees in clay soil, the hole needs to be a little larger than the standard 1 ½ times we mentioned before, and you also need to raise the ground level about 2 inches for drainage.
  • Raise the height of the plant, ensuring that the added soil slightly slopes away from the trunk of the tree.
  • Mulching the soil will help improve the texture of the soil over time.

And there you have it, your tree is planted! Now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Quite literally if you’ve planted a fruit tree.

Need assistance with your garden design, planning and suggestions? A Garden Design will save you time, stress and money, giving you a project plan to follow as well as a design created to your needs that can be quoted by landscapers. 

For any questions please call us at 9054687863 or email


We are here to assist in your garden experience from Dream to Enjoyment!


Let’s GROW something Beautiful!

Related articles you may be interested in:

Where to start? Planting Instructions

Watering For A Thriving Garden

How To Prune – Knowing Your Pruning Goal


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