Planting trees above ground

Asked May 25, 2019, 10:14 AM EDT

I have clay soil and was wanting to try to plant a 4-5” Tulip Poplar in my front lawn which has low spots and retains water. Instead of digging a whole in the ground, I was hoping to build the area by laying fabric weed control directly on the grass then place wet layers of cardboard on top of that followed by a foot or more of good garden mix and plant the tree directly in the soil. Will this work??? I will be spreading the soil evenly, this picture is just showing how i start.

Harris County Texas

1 Response

That is not a good plan for the tree. Tulip poplar doesn't like poorly drained sites and the little soil you can add won't be a significant benefit to a tree whose root system can reach twice the height of the tree in all directions. Also putting the weed fabric down will deter roots from reaching down into the soil to better support the tree.

You may want to consider another species more tolerant of the site, such as a Nuttall Oak.