How to plant a tree

Trees are a big investment and so it pays to ensure you plant them well and set them up for a long healthy life.

The best time to plant trees, shrubs and fruit bushes is in autumn and spring. Avoid planting in summer as newly planted trees struggle to establish well in heat and drought conditions.

To get your tree off to the best start possible follow our 7-step plan to success.

1. Dig a square hole the same depth as the pot your plant is in and twice as wide. A square hole helps the roots to break the circular habit they have learnt in the pot. This helps the plants to establish faster and grow stronger.

2. Break up any compacted soil at the bottom of the hole and enrich with some compost. Make sure you dig the compost in. If you just add the compost to the bottom of the hole the roots have no reason to put on growth and spread. If the soil is particularly dry water the hole and let the water drain away before planting.

3. Plant the tree or shrub at the same height it was in the pot. You should be able to see a clear soil mark on the trunk to guide you.

4. We’d advise you to stake your tree, but no need for one if you are planting a shrub. Staking newly planted trees prevents their roots being disturbed by root rock. Always place the stake on the side of the prevailing wind so the tree is blown away from the stake. After a couple of years you can remove it as the trees roots will be anchoring it firmly.

5. Back fill the hole around your plant using your heel to firm the earth around the root ball. Press down firmly to ensure you don’t leave any air pockets.

6. Water well and then apply a mulch of compost immediately to keep the soil nice and moist. Don’t let the compost touch the bark as it can burn.

7. Do not let your new plant dry out for the next year while it gets established. During winter the ground will most likely remain damp but you may need to provide a can full of water every week during the hotter spring and summer months.

If you are looking to plant a tree pop into the Shop and ask our expert team for advice and guidance. We’re all experienced gardeners and love an excuse to share our passion and knowledge.

Happy planting!