Landowners should consult with their forester or another natural-resource expert to help make the best decisions on what to plant and when. Federal and state agencies usually have stocking guides that can help you. The official Guidance for Standard 3 recommends that, whenever appropriate for your land and objectives, you use native, locally grown species that are well-adapted to your local site conditions when planting or replanting.

How to Use a Dibble Bar to Plant Tree Seedlings (N.C. Tree Farm Program video)

Tree Planting Contract Considerations (N.C. Forest Service)
While the costs of paying for tree planting and tree seedlings may at first seem high, studies have shown that investing in the planting of genetically-improved tree seedlings will reap benefits with enhanced tree growth and vigor. Consulting foresters can estimate tree planting costs and may be able to arrange for the work to be done. As in any case when you hire someone to conduct work on your forestland, it is recommended to have a written contract.

Recommendations for Planting Tree Seedlings (N.C. Forest Service)
Planting a new tree seedling seems simple enough: dig a hole and plant the tree. However, several critical steps
are needed when selecting, storing, handling and planting tree seedlings to sustain your forestland. This leaflet
only briefly outlines some of the basic steps.

Site Prep to Regenerate Trees (N.C. Forest Service)
Preparing a site for the regeneration of tree seedlings is vital to promote the successful establishment, survival and growth of the next generation of forest on your land. . Site prep achieves three objectives:
(1) Consolidates leftover logging debris and control undesirable vegetation in a manner that fosters tree growth.
(2) Tills the soil to improve the root zone conditions for the new tree seedlings.
(3) Allows sufficient bare soil for the establishment of new trees, either by planting seedlings or natural seeding.

Planting Trees on  Your Land (My Land Plan)
When you’re ready to plant the trees you’ve chosen for your restoration site, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing your seedlings, when planting, and after planting.

Successfully Establishing Longleaf Pine (N.C. Forest Service)
Establishing longleaf pine can be difficult. Careful planning and attention to detail will increase your success. The most important component for effective establishment and survival of longleaf pine tree seedlings is to
adequately control competing vegetation throughout its grass stage

Successful Planting of Shortleaf Pine (N.C. Forest Service)
Successful artificial regeneration of shortleaf requires planting high quality bareroot or container seedlings, selecting a suitable site, applying adequate site preparation, conducting proper planting techniques, and effectively controlling competition. The tree’s unique biological characteristics also affect planting success. Careful planning is important.

The Basics of Longleaf Understory Establishment and Enhancement (video, American Tree Farm System)
There are many questions about the process of establishing or enhancing the understory component of the longleaf pine ecosystem. Some of these questions include, but are not limited to: what plant species should be used, should seed or plugs be used, what site prep techniques should be used, and what restoration strategies should be used? This webinar addresses these questions as well as other pertinent understory restoration issues.

Site Prep Methods and Contracts (N.C. State University Forestry Extension)
Most commercially valuable tree species found in North Carolina require full or almost full sunlight for seed germination, establishment and early growth. For regeneration to succeed, remove competing trees, weeds and brush or else reduce their density. Such steps must be taken before planting or before pines or hardwoods can regenerate naturally. To do this, several alternative site preparation methods are available to landowners. Which method(s) is selected will depend on the type, composition and density of the competition.

Steps to Successful Pine Planting (N.C. State Extension Forestry)
Successful pine plantings require a well-prepared site, quality seedlings, proper storage and field care of seedlings, and timely planting by a crew trained in proper planting techniques. Most landowners contract with a vendor for such tree-planting services. This note gives information on (1) key clauses to include in any tree-planting contract and (2) conditions which affect seedling survival and early growth.

Identifying Common Longleaf Pine Planting Mistakes (Clemson Extension Forestry & Wildlife)
Successfully planting longleaf pine requires attention to detail. Recognizing mistakes may mean the difference between moving forward with a successful stand or starting over. Here is what you should be looking for.

Seedling Selection Guidelines for Forest Landowners (Clemson Extension Forestry & Wildlife)
The selection of tree seedlings for reforestation or the conversion of open land to woodlands is often only done a few times over ownership of a property. Therefore, making sure that the right seedlings are purchased is a very important step in woodland management. The factors to consider when selecting seedlings are landowner objectives, soils and other site characteristics, seedling sources, and availability, and budget.