Planting the first tree in your new garden is an exciting landmark! It can be tempting to rush into getting your tree in the ground. But without proper tree planting prep, you might not be giving it the chance to grow and thrive. Follow these tree planting tips to ensure the lasting growth and health of your new tree.
1. Evaluate Your Space
The first step of creating a beautiful garden with healthy trees isn’t deciding what you’d like to plant, it’s establishing what will flourish.
Your garden will have unique qualities when it comes to climate, amount of natural sunlight vs shade, and soil quality. Spend some time observing and evaluating these variables, and then researching which types of trees will be suited to these conditions.
To make sure your trees will thrive, you need to choose species that will be happy in your environment.
2. Choose a Location
This step is also dictated by the needs of the plant, rather than landscaping aesthetics. The success of residential tree planting depends on considering the future of your tree.
You might have a vision of a cherry tree blossoming next to your conservatory, but will there be enough space for the roots to grow? Could it block out natural light, or grow hazardous branches that need removal?
Imagine the potential growth and size of the tree, and where its roots may need to extend to. If it would be better suited to a different spot in the garden, then prioritize the tree’s future health over your current landscaping vision.
3. Prepare to Plant
Once you’ve decided on the correct species and the perfect location, it’s time to bring your new tree home! Unless you’re using a tree planting service, you’ll need to do some tree planting prep.
Try to plant it on the day of purchase, so that it can settle and hydrate as soon as possible.
You don’t want the roots or rootball to try out. If you can’t plant it immediately, put it in a shaded area and water it daily.
4. Dig a Hole
The key to helping your tree to grow in its new location is root space. You’ll need to dig the hole shallow and wide. Arm yourself with a decent shovel and enlist some tree planting help if you need it!
In terms of depth, it only needs to be as deep as the rootball. However, it should be at least two to three times as wide. Loosening and disrupting the soil on either side makes it easier for roots to grow and take hold.
Gently loosen the roots of the rootball too, so they can quickly expand and draw up nutrients.
5. Mix Your Soils
The best way to ensure your tree has all the nutrition it needs, and can simultaneously adapt to its new location, is to mix soils.
Aim for a mix of ⅓ compost, to ⅔ native soil. Mix the soil removed when digging the hole with good quality compost, and then settle it around the tree roots. Make sure the roots are fully covered. Carefully pat it down as you go, so you don’t have pockets of air.
6. Mulch Time
Once the soil and compost mix has been applied and your tree is safe and sturdy, it’s time to mulch. This will insulate the roots, maintaining water levels and temperature.
Add a couple of inches of mulch around the tree. Avoid pressing it up against the trunk, as this can lead to rot.
7. Watering Your New Tree
The next step is to give your new tree a good drink. Notice how long it takes the pooled water to soak into the ground. This will give an indication of how saturated the soil is and how effective the drainage is.
If the soil is disrupted by the first watering, you can add a little more and gently pack it back down. After this, water your tree 2 -3 times per week.
Enjoy Your New Addition With These Tree Planting Tips
Congratulations on the new addition to your garden! Follow these tree planting tips to give your tree the best possible start and ensure lasting growth.
To discover how to keep your tree in great health year-round, check out this blog post.