Providing structure, height and interest all year, trees are an invaluable addition to any garden.
Give them a good start and they last for years, and your reward is that they form part of an ever-changing backdrop to the glorious scene that is your garden.
Planting correctly and staking is essential to provide the support trees need while they get established, and our guide below shows just how to do it!
When you buy your tree, don’t forget that you’ll also need to get a stake and tree ties to secure it.
Choose a suitable stake which will, when knocked into the ground, be two thirds of the height of the clear stem and, as tree ties come in different sizes, make sure you have one which is suitable for the size of your stem.
When you get your tree home, it will probably be presented very similarly to the images on the right.
In ‘transport mode’ it will have a plastic wrap to contain the compost and be secured to a cane by a plastic tie to keep it upright.
Of course these are only ever meant as temporary containment and support measures, so it’s important to get your new tree safely transplanted and staked just as soon as you can after purchase.
Planting Your Tree
Dig a hole at least three times the size of your tree’s rootball. Fork a good barrowload of well-rotted organic matter or special tree compost into the bottom and mix some more into the soil you dug out to make the hole, along with a handful of suitable fertiliser (such as blood, fish and bone).
Water your tree and then remove the plastic wrap – at this point most of the compost is likely to fall away from the roots. Don’t worry, as this will allow you to see exactly where the roots are so that you don’t damage them during planting and staking.
Part-fill your hole with the improved soil so that when the tree is planted, the top of the rootball will be flush with the surrounding soil.
Tease out the roots where necessary and then place your tree in the hole, with the stake parallel to it and as close as possible without damaging the roots. You may need someone to help hold the tree and stake while you backfill your hole with the improved soil.
Firm gently and then water thoroughly before mulching generously (2-3in) for 2ft all around the tree to conserve moisture.
Securing Your Stake
Next you need to secure your tree to the stake using your tree tie.
Place the tie around the tree, making sure that the rubber buffer is between the stake and the stem, and the end of the strap with the buckle is at the stake. Feed the stem end of the strap back through the rubber buffer and then into the buckle as Marcus shows below.
Secure the strap fully into the buckle and adjust as necessary. Your strap should be secure but not tight with some space to allow for growth.
- Don’t forget about your tree once it’s planted – it will need watering in dry spells and mulching and feeding each spring.
- If your tree is planted in grass, keep a circle of bare soil around it to prevent the grass competing for water and nutrients.
- Check your tree ties regularly and loosen them as the tree grows and the trunk thickens.
- Take care when mowing or strimming close to newly planted trees – if they are struck it can damage the bark.
- Protect tree trunks with special tree guards if rabbits are present, because they do like to nibble the bark and this can weaken your tree.
Now you have all the know-how you need to plant your own trees and care for them properly, why not pop in to check out our great range of trees. Plus we have all the compost, fertiliser, stakes, tree ties and any other tools you’ll need – so you’ll be ready to get planting!