I met a friend at Wisley last week, who’s very excited about buying a new house, it’ll be her first garden and so we naturally talked about what she’d like it to all to look like.
We also talked about the whole business of gardening and how beginner gardeners can struggle with basic gardening skills. My friend is lucky enough to have a knowledgeable gardening mother, and there are lots of people who absorbed an interest in gardening at an early age, often from grandparents and this usually re-emerges when you have a garden of your own.
My parents were keen gardeners in later life, but I was a teenager by then and it just looked like a chore, only outside rather than in the house. Though the interest obviously percolated through to me eventually because I trained in horticulture before training to be a garden designer.
Back to gardening skills, planting a tree can be a bit daunting, after all it’s going to have much more impact than any other planting you do.
If you need some persuasion, here are 10 good reasons to plant a tree.
How you plant it is more important than you might imagine, doing it correctly will make sure that it gets off to a good, healthy start. So whatever your gardening experience, here’s some tips that you might find helpful.
A BARE-ROOT TREE?
You can buy trees in pots, but at this time of year they’re available as bare-root plants. This means that they’re field grown, dug up when an order is received and the roots are simply wrapped-up usually in hessian, rather than being sold in pots.
They’re much cheaper to buy this way because there’s less input from the nursery, and there’s no risk that the tree has become pot-bound, that is having spent too long in a pot.
When you get the tree home, if it arrives by post or you’ve bought it from a nursery, unwrap it straight away and plant it in a temporary hole until you’re ready to put it an it’s final position.
They need to be taken out of all that plastic wrapping so they can breathe.
HOW TO PLANT:
- Dig a large, square hole big enough for the roots to spread out. It’s best to do this before you dig up the tree from it’s temporary home, so the roots are uncovered for as little time as possible.
- Plant at the same depth as it was growing, you can tell the exact level that it was planted at by the change in colour of the bark.
- Place the stake at a 45 degree angle before you fill the hole with soil. Once you’ve firmed the soil around the roots, tie the stake to the tree with a rubber tie in a figure of eight so the tree doesn’t rub against the stake and damage the bark.
- Water it well and keep it watered the following year especially in early Spring as it starts to grow.
- Check the tree-tie to make sure it’s not too tight as the tree grow.
and that’s all there is to it.
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images: Jill Anderson