How to plant a tree cor­rectly

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

As they say, ‘if you only plant one thing, make it a tree’! Wildlife-friendly, colour­ful and full of long-term char­ac­ter, trees are es­sen­tial gar­den plants. Here’s how to get them go­ing… 1 Dig a hole three times as wide as the root­ball of your tree and at the same depth. Loosen the soil in this area to im­prove drainage and im­prove its tex­ture with or­ganic ma er such as com­post. A sprin­kling of Root­grow may help es­tab­lish­ment. 2 Be­fore plant­ing in the ground or in a pot, soak the root­ball by stand­ing it in a bucket of wa­ter for half an hour to loosen it. Then tease and loosen the root­ball, par­tic­u­larly if it’s a root-bound con­tainer tree. If the la er, trim­ming a few con­gested roots may help. 3 Put the root­ball in the pre­pared hole, en­sur­ing the top of where the roots meet the trunk is level with the soil sur­face. If any deeper, there’ll be less air­flow to the roots, re­sult­ing in poor es­tab­lish­ment and height­ened risk of disease. 4 In­sert a stake at this point if needed, and then care­fully re­fill the plant­ing hole, en­sur­ing there are no gaps or air pock­ets any­where in the soil. Firm down the soil and make sure the tree is sturdy and sta­ble in its hole. Wa­ter it in well. 5 Use a plas­tic tree guard or a spi­ral of chicken wire to stop deer or rab­bits nib­bling the bo om of the trunk, and then give your tree a top layer mulch of com­posted bark – make sure none touches the trunk or it’ll en­cour­age rot.

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