Best Tools to Plant Trees: Essential Gear for Arborists in 2024
Get the scoop on the best tools for planting trees, including shovels, spades, and more. Make your tree planting experience a breeze with these top picks!
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Best Tools to Plant Trees: Essential Gear for Arborists in 2024
Get the scoop on the best tools for planting trees, including shovels, spades, and more. Make your tree planting experience a breeze with these top picks!
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Best Tools to Plant Trees: Essential Gear for Arborists in 2024
Get the scoop on the best tools for planting trees, including shovels, spades, and more. Make your tree planting experience a breeze with these top picks!
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Planting trees is vital for maintaining our environment and restoring ecological balance. Trees offer countless benefits, including air purification, habitat for wildlife, and temperature regulation.

Good tools are essential for tree planting. They make the process efficient and less labour-intensive. Depending on the scale of the project, these tools can range from simple hand tools to advanced mechanical equipment.

There are several factors to consider when reviewing tools for planting trees. The size of the tree sapling, the type of terrain, and the volume of trees you’re planting all influence your tool choice.

A sturdy spade and a pair of gardening gloves may be sufficient for casual gardeners. Larger projects, however, could require specialised tree-planting bars, drills, or potting machines. The key is to choose tools that will minimise effort while maximising the survival rate of the trees.

Durability and comfort are crucial — a reliable tool should withstand repetitive use and be ergonomically designed to reduce strain on the body. The material quality should also be high to ensure longevity and resist corrosion.

As stewards of nature, we must also consider the environmental impact of our tools, opting for sustainably produced and easily maintainable options where possible.

The 5 best tree-planting tools

Planting trees is a rewarding venture for both our environment and us. We’ve researched and tested tools to make your planting experience efficient and enjoyable. 

Our list includes only the best to plant with ease and certainty.

1. Jim-Gem Speedy Dibble

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You’ll find this dibble bar a game changer when it comes to tree planting, owing to its efficiency and ease of use.


  • Lighter than most, making it less tiring to use
  • Shorter length offers better control
  • Bevelled point simplifies piercing the soil


  • Can be heavy after prolonged use
  • Not suited for very dry or compact soils
  • The handle might be too slim for some

Planting trees just got a lot easier with the Jim-Gem Speedy Dibble. Its lighter frame allowed us to work longer without feeling weighed down.

The shorter stature didn’t hinder the work but made us feel more in control, nimbly moving from spot to spot.

The bevelled arrow point deserves mention; it cut through moist ground like a warm knife through butter. Whether dealing with light topsoil or a more stubborn medium blend, the Jim-Gem Speedy Dibble stood its ground.

Onto the downsides, which were few but noticeable. Working tirelessly under the sun can take its toll, and despite its initial lightness, the dibble bar did become cumbersome over time. Our advice would be to pace yourselves.

Meanwhile, those with firmer clay soils might need more elbow grease, as this tool favours softer ground. And for folks with larger hands, the slim handle could prove a tad uncomfortable. Some of us found wrapping a wider grip around the handle improved the experience significantly.

Check price on Amazon

2. Bully dibble bar

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You’ll find this tool a stalwart companion in your tree planting endeavours, robust and reliable to the core.


  • Crafted in the USA for outstanding durability
  • Commercial-grade quality for professional use
  • Comes with a reassuring lifetime warranty


  • On the heavier side, which might be taxing for some
  • Could be cumbersome in rocky or dense soil
  • Price point may be a consideration for casual gardeners

Its sturdiness is immediately apparent upon gripping the steel T-style handle of the Bully dibble bar. The thick blade slides into the earth like a dream, making planting saplings less daunting.

Its all-steel build guarantees the dibble bar withstands the test of time and hard labour. Whether working with loamy soil or tackling the occasional clay, this tool steps up to the challenge.

We must note its heft, though; after planting a row of trees, our shoulders did feel the workout. Yet, comfort is not sacrificed—the padded handle ensures our hands are spared from soreness.

Check price on Amazon

3. Lichtund dibble bar

We recommend this dibble bar if you want a tool that simplifies the tree-planting process with durable construction and thoughtful design.


  • Robust stainless steel materials increase longevity
  • Ergonomic T-handle and footstep for comfort
  • Detachable parts for easy transport and storage


  • Some users reported the foot pedal breaking
  • May require additional strength to assemble
  • Possible issues with the spade bending under heavy use

Just used this dibble bar today, and it’s a game-changer for planting seedlings. The quality of the stainless steel is palpable, and the welding between the handle and blade is solid, providing that reassurance for a long-term investment in our gardening toolkit. Thanks to the bright colour coating, we weren’t left concerned about rust either.

The dibble bar’s design showed a good understanding of planting ergonomics. The T-handle was a breeze to grip and use, and the footstep feature couldn’t be more convenient; it was a relief to work without bending over.

We appreciated being able to adjust the foot pedal’s height to suit different users in our team – just make sure it’s fastened securely.

When we were finished, the dibble bar came apart quickly, making it straightforward to carry back to the shed.

Do note, though, that it took a fair bit of muscle to connect the rods tightly when it was time to put it all together. The foot pedal could be fragile, and there was an instance of the spade bending, but we encountered no such troubles for our light to moderate tasks.

Check price on Amazon

4. Jim Gem KBC Bar

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If you’re wrestling with rocky soil, this is your go-to tool to do the job efficiently.


  • Breezes through rocky ground
  • Footstep design prevents bending
  • Forged to last a lifetime


  • A tad heavy when working all-day
  • Limited to one size
  • The handle may be short for taller folk

After giving the Jim Gem KBC Bar a go in a stubborn patch of land we had written off, we’re convinced this should be in every tree planter’s kit. Its ability to slice through difficult soil impressed us, and the reinforced footstep withstood our full weight without a hint of protest. Navigating rocky terrain has never felt this effortless.

We noticed the alloy steel construction offered a reassuring heft, implying durability. Although it added weight, which could be taxing during a long day’s work, the trade-off for exceptional performance in challenging conditions had us agree that it was worth the extra muscle.

Sharing stories amongst ourselves, the consensus was clear: the Jim Gem KBC Bar has earned its stripes. At 6’3, I would have preferred a more extended handle, but its current stature didn’t stop me from securely getting the day’s quota of saplings into the ground. This tool is robust, reliable, and ready for what’s next.

Check price on Amazon

5. Root Assassin 48″ Garden Shovel/Saw

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If you’re tackling an overgrown garden, we can’t recommend this sturdy tool enough for its root-cutting prowess.


  • Slices through roots with ease
  • Comfortable rubber-coated handle
  • Durable carbon steel blade


  • Narrow tip may be prone to bending
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tree removal
  • Serrated edges require careful handling

We’ve been impressed by the way this shovel handles in the garden. It’s got a serrated, sharp edge that makes root cutting almost feel like slicing through butter.

While in the yard, the D-handle design takes the strain off our wrists, providing much-needed comfort during long gardening sessions.

The shovel is lightweight, which is surprising, given how robust it feels. It’s just the job for smaller tasks, like weeding or planting saplings, without making us break a sweat. The cutting ability is spot on; the shovel does half the work.

Though the narrow tip is a design win for digging, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve got to be careful not to exert too much force. The last thing we want is to damage the shovel’s tip.

It’s also not the tool for tackling large-scale tree removal. But for our regular garden upkeep, the Root Assassin becomes an extension of our hands.

Check price on Amazon

Buying guide

What to consider before purchasing

When buying tree planting tools, it’s crucial to consider certain features to ensure we’re making the best choice. Here’s what we should look out for:

  • Ergonomics: Tools should feel comfortable in our hands and be easy to use for extended periods.
  • Material quality: Durable materials mean tools will last longer and be worth our investment.
  • Size and weight: Tools should suit our strength and the size of the trees we’re planting.

Essential features of planting tools

  • Blade sharpness: Look for tools that will easily penetrate the soil. This reduces our workload.
  • Handle grip: A secure grip will prevent slippage and increase safety.
  • Corrosion resistance: Ensure tools can withstand weather and soil conditions.
FeatureImportanceReason for consideration
Ergonomic designHighReduces strain and increases comfort
Material durabilityHighEnsures longevity and reliability
Tool weightMediumMust be manageable for the user
Blade qualityHighCrucial for efficient tree planting

How to evaluate the best choice

We’ve narrowed down the features, but how do we choose the best product?

  • Read reviews: Comments from other buyers can offer insight into tool performance.
  • Compare prices: Weigh the cost against the tool’s features and durability.
  • Check warranties: A good warranty can save us from future expenses.

Frequently asked questions

To begin a tree-planting endeavour, we need the tools to ensure success. Here, we’ve compiled and answered the essential questions to guide you through the process.

  • Spade or shovel for digging holes.
  • Gloves to protect the hands.
  • Watering cans or hoses for hydration.
  • Yes, machinery like augers and tree spades speeds up the process.
  • Suitable for large-scale projects.
  • Tree planting bars are also known as spike bars. They are used for precise work.
  • Mattocks or pickaxes are recommended for challenging terrain.
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Rob Boyle
Rob built Emission Index to collect and share data, trends and opportunities to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and expedite the energy transition.

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