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How To Plant Trees

The perfect tree starts with proper planting.

How to Plant Trees

  1. Call before you dig.
    Contact Alberta One-Call.
  2. Handle with care. Always lift tree by the rootball.
  3. Dig a big hole. Dig a hole 2x as wide as the rootball.
  4. Plant at the right depth. The tree flare should be slightly above the ground.
  5. Backfill with good soil. Use what you dug out of the hole unless it's all clay.
  6. Top with a mulch ring. Keep it at least 5cm from the tree trunk.

How To Water Trees

When there is little rain or signs of water stress, we need to water our trees and shrubs. 

Healthy trees are better able to withstand insect pests and disease.

Here are some guidelines for keeping your trees healthy:
  • Water your tree in the early morning or evening.Drip line
  • Check if the soil is moist to the touch, if so your tree may not need it.
  • Water around the tree's drip line (an imaginary line extending from the outermost branch tips straight down to the ground), rather than just around the trunk.
  • To reach the roots responsible for gathering water make sure the area around your tree is moist to a depth of 30-45cm below the surface, depending on the size of the tree.
  • During drought conditions, the soil may first repel the water. Water lightly several times on the first day until the soil will accept the water.
  • Trees can drown! Instead of watering often, water generously in one long, slow application.
  • After a good watering, let the area dry for at least a week before watering again.
  • Wood mulch will help to keep the roots cool and moist.
  • Water your trees well in early spring and fall to prepare for winter.

The city waters new boulevard trees regularly for the first 3 years. If your new boulevard tree needs attention, Contact 311.

How To Prune Trees

Trees are pruned to remove dead branches, potentially unsafe branches and to control disease.

Where to cut graphic

Photo credit: Austin Tree Specialists

When To Prune Your Tree


  • Prune in July


  • Prune in July

Other deciduous trees

  • Prune January to April

Fruit Trees


  • Pruning is not recommended, however, the least damaging time is May - June

For those who require assistance trimming large trees, the City recommends using a certified ISA Arborist.

Elm Pruning Bylaw

Elm trees can only be pruned from October 1st to March 31st when elm bark beetles are inactive. For more information please see the Community Standards Bylaw 14600.

Pruning Tips

  • Keep your pruning tools sharp and clean.
  • Never prune out more than one quarter of the tree crown at a time. If your tree requires a lot of pruning, spread it out over several years.
  • Remove all diseased limbs, dead and dying limbs, and crossing branches.

For more pruning information, see Trees Are Good.

Boulevard elm trees are pruned every 4 years and other trees every 7 years. If a public tree needs to be pruned, Contact 311.

Is your tree next a power line? Please contact EPCOR to arrange for pruning.

Controlling Pests and Disease

Some pests are good for trees while others are not. Learn more about tree pests and disease.

Are you worried about your tree and need advice? Contact 311.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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