PLANT­ING TIPS

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - GARDENING -

Trees can be bought as bare-root spec­i­mens from Novem­ber un­til March; th­ese will prob­a­bly be cheaper than con­tainer­ised. Root ball trees (in­set right) are ex­pen­sive but worth buy­ing if you want quick re­sults. Th­ese are planted with their mesh sur­round, which might be wire or hes­sian.

All trees need to be care­fully planted if they are to sur­vive. This means pre­par­ing a de­cent-sized plant­ing hole, about three times as wide as the pot. Add fer­tiliser to the bot­tom of the hole to get the tree off to a good start.

What­ever the tree, the roots need soak­ing be­fore plant­ing. If you are plant­ing a bare root tree spread them out from the cen­tre. If the tree is in a pot, make sure the roots aren’t pot bound; if they are, en­cour­age them to spread out into the hole you have pre­pared. You should not need to do any­thing to the root­balled types.

All trees must be planted at ex­actly the level they were in the pot or ground (see in­set bot­tom). On bare root trees, the part of the trunk that was in the soil will be darker.

Wa­ter trees af­ter plant­ing then mulch, leav­ing a small, mulch-free cir­cum­fer­ence around the stem.

For the first year af­ter plant­ing, keep trees weed-free and wa­ter ev­ery 10 days if no rain falls. You will be do­ing your tree proud if you con­tinue this regime for a sec­ond year.

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