How to plant a tree

Tree planting is a great way to support local wildlife, whilst enhancing your garden. It is also easy to do if you follow these simple steps:

1. Prepare your planting pit.

Assuming it is a bare rooted tree, the size of the roots should be assessed and the pit should be at least twice the radius of the root system. The depth should be a little deeper than the trees roots. You can measure this by locating where the root collar or the old soil level was and measuring between this and the bottom of the tree’s roots. Fork the edges of the pit to allow root penetration.

2. Ensure the soil is good enough or add compost.

However, be careful not to add too much as the tree needs to become accustomed to its surroundings and could get spoiled by a rich pit.

3. Prune any damaged roots or branches.

When pruning a tree it is very important to observe the correct method. The name of this technique is ‘Natural Target Pruning’ and it has been developed in response to Dr Alex Shigo’s research. A basic description of this method is to cut a branch to just outside the branch collar in order not to damage the stem wood you are leaving behind.

4. Insert a little loose soil until the root collar is level with the ground around the tree.

5. Place the tree in the pit.

Decide if you need a tree stake. If you do then it should be fastened low to allow the tree to sway and with a proper tree tie, which should be soft and flexible.

6. Gradually introduce the soil.

Compact the soil around the tree as you do so.

7. Water in the tree.

8. Add a weed control mat and mulch around the tree.

Keep watering the tree regular until the it recovers its full root strength, and then you may wish to formatively prune the tree. If you need help with tree pruning tree planting or tree removal, please contact us.