Planting Trees

Planting trees should be carried out as soon as you have established the correct position and the right type of tree.

Some trees may be fast growing, many are slow to establish. Trees really are a long term investment, however the sooner you plant trees the sooner you will reap the rewards.

Choosing trees for planting is relatively simple and any good nursery will give you sound advice on when to plant a tree and how to care for it. We provide some guidelines on how to plant trees.

Selecting the right tree to plant

Selecting the right tree for the right position.

Consider the following factors when choosing and planting a tree.

  • Evergreen or deciduous. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer and can work well on the south east and west sides of a house or property. Blocking the hot summer sun and allowing light in during the winter. Evergreen trees can provide a screen year round.
  • Tall or low growing. Consider the potential height of the species selected, a tall growing species may not suit a small space.
  • Spreading or narrow growing. Some trees have a narrow growing ‘fastigiate’ habit, these may be well suited to narrow spaces. Spreading trees can provide great shade over a wide area.
  • Root habit. Some trees have ‘invasive root systems’ and are not suitable to plant close to buildings or drains, they may need a root barrier in some cases
  • Water requirements. All trees require the ‘right’ amount of water. In some cases this may mean selecting appropriate species, in other cases trees may require irrigation. Heavy or poorly drained soils can cause root rot with some species.
  • Sun or shade. Trees require different amounts of sun to perform to the optimum. Some trees prefer to grow in the shade, others need full sun.
  • Soil structure and quality. Trees have different requirements in terms of ph and soil quality, some trees cope with poor soils, others do not.

How to plant a tree.

  • Staking, watering and fertilizing trees.
  • Stake newly planted trees until they have developed a strong root system. Remove the stake after the tree is established.
  • Watering Trees.
  • Water newly planted trees and maintain moisture through the first and second summer and any dry periods.
  • Mulch trees well prevent moisture loss, but keep mulch away from the trunk of the tree itself to prevent any collar rot.
  • Using a root stimulant such as seaweed based fertilizers can help establish trees more rapidly.
  • Provide protection for young trees form deer and other animals

How to buy a tree.

Trees may be purchased from nurseries or through landscapers. Trees are usually purchased in one of four ways.

  • Bare rooted trees. Some deciduous trees may be purchased during winter ‘bare rooted’. The roots are actually exposed, although kept moist with saw dust or similar.
  • Container grown trees. These are trees grown in pots or containers and sold in the pot they have been grown in.
  • Balled and Burlapped trees. Field grown trees, dug with a rootball and soil and then wrapped in burlap.
  • Transplanted trees. Larger established trees that are machine dug usually after they are sold, and then immediately transplanted with a large rootball.

When to plant a tree

The best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the next best time is today.

The best times to plant most trees is in early fall, in these months the soil is still warm and some root growth is possible. If you miss this period, then the early months of spring.