Planting a tree may seem like it’s as easy as putting a seed on the ground and waiting for it to grow, or transplanting a small tree into your garden. But the truth is, planting a tree is actually quite difficult and without the proper technique you risk the tree dying before it has had time to grow. In this little guide, we’ll go through 5 important steps to planting a tree perfectly—every single time!
Step 1: Plant at the right time
The first step is simply to plan your tree planting carefully. The seasons of the year largely dictate how plants grow, so planting your tree at the wrong time could result in excessive stress, causing the tree to die early. In the U.K, landscape gardeners usually plant trees in autumn, or in the first few days of spring. During that time, the tree will have time to grow and establish firm roots, without going into bloom straight away. Also avoid planting your trees during the coldest months of winter, as this may impede their growth.
Step 2: Start digging
You’ve chosen the tree that you want to plant, and you’ve chosen a hospitable season. Great! Now all that’s left to do is inspect the place where you intend to plant your tree. An important part of garden design is making sure that a tree has the space to grow as much as it wants to—remember, it won’t always be this small! Is there anything going under your garden that could get in the way of the tree’s growth? Make sure that there is enough space for you to dig a shallow hole, and that no other roots or pipes are in the way. Dig a hole that goes as deep as the root ball of your tree, and that is about 2 to 3 times its size in diameter.
Step 3: Prepare your tree
Once the hole has been dug, it’s time to prepare the tree. If the one you got came in a basket, remove the basket. Start inspecting the roots. Is any root growing in a weird direction, or looking like it’s wrapping around the others? Cut it off! At this stage, it’s crucial to have normal, healthy roots to ensure the proper development of the tree.
Step 4: Plant it
At this stage, you can go ahead and place the tree in the hole that you have dug for it. Make sure that it is very straight, and fill back the hole with soil. Pack the soil tightly around the tree: you don’t want to create air pockets that could prevent the roots from accessing the right nutrients.
Step 5: Care for your tree
In its early stages of life, a tree requires a lot of attention. Make sure that it’s getting regular water, preferably 2 to 3 times a week, unless it is also raining a lot. You’ll also want to make sure that it stays straight. At this stage, landscape gardeners will usually help to secure a tree straight by tying it up from either side. This is not always necessary, but do consider it if you notice that your tree is starting to grow askew.
And here they are, our 5 easy steps to tree planting! We hope that this article has been helpful and has given you a better idea of what you need to consider when planting a tree. Happy gardening!