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Planting and PropagatingThe Complete Guide To Planting A Tree
Autumn and early winter is the ideal time to plant trees. The soil is still warm and the plants are losing their leaves, so will need less water and be under less stress as they establish their root system through the winter. Container grown trees are available year round from your local garden centre or you may wish to order a larger size as a ‘bare rooted’ plant.
What do I need?
- Garden spade
- Garden fork
- General fertiliser (Vitax or equivalent)
- Tree stake (approx. 60 to 90cm)
- Tree tie
- Blended stable manure or rotted garden compost
OK, what do I do?
What sort of tree shall I plant?
Trees come in all shapes and sizes, so once you have decided on a variety that you like, try to find a mature specimen to look at, or at least a picture to give you an idea of eventual height and spread. Remember a tree is a long term investment - many can live for hundreds of years, so it pays to do some research and ask advice! Also make sure that the variety is suitable for your location and soil type.
Once you have decided on your tree, you can purchase a young ‘feathered’ tree in a container or a larger bare root one that will need to be ordered. A feathered tree has a main stem and side branches and can be gradually pruned to leave a clear stem and a head of branches. Larger trees are sold as ‘standards’ that are already trained with a clear stem.
How do I plant?
Completing the job
By planting through the autumn, your tree will establish its root system through the winter and be ready to grow away next spring to give years of interest in your garden and a home for all sorts of wildlife.