What Size Auger for Planting Trees?

If you’re giving your yard a makeover with some new trees, what size auger is for planting trees?  Well, the answer is: it depends. 

Read on to find out what size auger you may need for planting trees this year on your property. 

what size auger for planting trees
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What Size Auger for Planting Trees 

What size tree auger you need depends on the size of the trees you are planting. Let’s discuss the size of auger you’ll need from planting both small and larger trees.  The size of auger needed to plant trees ranges from 2 to 6 inches or greater, depending on your project.

Planting Trees: Augers for Planting Small Trees 

If you are planting seedlings, or just tiny little saplings, then the auger you will need is very small.  It would be the same size auger that you would use to plant bulbs or veggie starters in your garden.  Ideal garden augers for your basic garden projects will be 2 to 4 inches and anywhere from 6 inches to 4 feet in length. 

Augers for Planting Trees: What Size Auger for Planting Trees 

I recommend a 6 inch or greater blade for planting trees in 1 gallon pots, you may have to drill a few holes to make is wide enough, but it’s better than shoveling ALLLL that dirt! 

Soil type will also affect the size of auger bit you need. In hard, rocky soil, you may need a larger auger bit to dig the hole. In softer soils a smaller auger bit will probably be good enough.

I like to buy larger trees to plant (with big root balls), so I have to wait less time for them to be established and enjoy their beauty, fruits, etc.  This means if you buy those larger trees too, you will need to buy an auger for planting trees that has a large, long blade.  This way, is drills BIG holes and also DEEP holes: perfect for the big trees your brought home from the nursery. 

For these larger trees and shrubs, like 2 gallons or greater, an auger that is 8 inches or greater will work for you.  You can even buy 14 inch auger blades to fit on your current auger powerhead and we think that’s amazing! 

What Size Auger for 3 Gallon Trees?

An 8-10 inch auger bit should be large enough for planting 2-3 gallon shrubs and trees.

Very Large Trees and Auger Size

Tractor augers are also handy for planting very large trees, larger than 3 gallons. 5 gallons is a common tree size to plant with augers as well.

Use the chart below to compare auger sizes.

Planting Trees

Planting trees is a great way to beautify your property.  They provide us with shade and fruit.  They also provide us with a calming presence, bringing us closer to nature.  Plant some trees today and enjoy more birds and wildlife in your yard for years to come!

Tree Planting Auger Rental 

You can rent augers from your local Home depot if you just need to dig a few holes.  Planting a lot of trees means you really should look at buying a tree auger so that you can use it at your convenience.  You can even use your auger for drilling holes for fence posts, other plants, foundations for decks, etc.   Click the Home Depot link to go straight to the auger rentals.

When renting a tree auger, it’s important to carefully read and understand the rental agreement, including any details about the rental period, cost, and any additional fees that may apply. Be sure to also check the condition of the auger before you rent it and make sure you know how to use it safely and effectively.

Most rental equipment companies will require a deposit and even payment in full before you leave the store. They will also ask for a ID and a credit card. Make sure to ask about the rental company’s policy on maintenance and repairs, in case the equipment breaks down during the rental period and what they will do if it does break down.


I hope that I was able to help steer you in the right direction about what size auger for planting trees you will need this year. 

What is the best auger for tree planting?

Check out our detailed post with advice on how to pick the best tree auger.