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How to Plant a Tree

Planting a tree requires more than digging a hole, putting a tree in and refilling the hole. If not done properly the tree will most likely die. Only by following certain procedures will the tree survive to produce mast (fruit or nuts) and improve habitat for wildlife.

When planting seedlings, use the advice of the National Wild Turkey Federation's biologists to ensure the tree's survival:

  • Clear vegetation three feet in diameter from around the planting site.

  • Dig a hole deeper than the seedling was planted in the nursery bed.

  • Place two slow release fertilizer packets in the bottom of the hole and cover with one to two inches of soil.

  • Plant the seedling a little deeper than it was at the nursery. Until the seedling becomes established, keep the planting site clear of vegetation to keep the tree from competing for water and nutrients.

  • If possible, supply water to the tree during times of drought.

  • Growing mast-producing trees on your land is an excellent way to provide an additional food source for wild turkeys and other wildlife, such as white-tailed deer and small game. Planting several species of oak, or fruit-producing trees, together will ensure wildlife has acorns available, if one or more of the oak species have a poor mast-producing year.

How to order

Acorn- or fruit-producing seedlings are available through the National Wild Turkey Federation's Project HELP (Habitat Enhancement Land Program). To place an order or receive a free catalog, call 800-THE-NWTF or visit the NWTF's Online Turkey Shoppe at More land management tips are available on the NWTF's web site at



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