They are the largest plants on planet earth, they give us oxygen, improve air quality, store carbon, stabilise and clean soil, provide a home and protection to wildlife and provide humans with materials for tools and shelter, etc. Their environmental value is boundless, but trees also give us food, flowers, colour, shade in our gardens and on the landscape and they are beautiful.
Trees can live from one to thousands of years, and once planted this is where they will most likely spend their entire life, so it’s extremely important that you plant them correctly from the word go.
Do your research! How tall will it be in say 10 or 30 years? what shadows will it throw? Will it be harmful to humans or animals? Do you have the ideal climate for this tree? etc.
Let’s get planting ...
- Dig the hole, at least twice as deep and twice as wide as the root-ball of your tree and loosen the soil at the sides and bottom of the hole to allow for good drainage and root penetration. Dig the soil that has been taken from the hole, so it is loose crumbly when returned; you can a little well-rotted compost to break up heavy soil.
- Add some slow release fertiliser tablets or mix to the base of the hole and cover with soil - the plant rootball should not touch the fertiliser.
- If you need to stake the tree or provide wind protection do it before the tree is put in the hole. Place the stake(s) in the ground firmly now about 150 cm from where the edge of the root ball will be. Have something soft and nonabrasive to tie the tree to the stakes. Stakes may be removed once the tree has set down roots and is firm – no sooner that 12 months after planting.
- Scrape away the top 1cm of potting mix to remove any weeds or weed seeds
- Take the tree out of the container ...
To ensure as little root disturbance as possible, cut around the base of the plastic bag and remove it (leaving the sides of the bag on the rootball), place the tree in the hole, check the height and position of the tree, then carefully make a cut down the side of the bag and remove it, leaving the tree sitting in the hole.
If the tree is in a hard container gently press on the container to loosen the soil and remove the rootball carefully, position in the hole.
New Seasons trees will have been recently potted and extra care is required removing these from their container - the roots may come away from the soil, treat them very gently as they are young and fragile - you can carefully fan these young roots out before placing in the hole and cover firstly with the potting mix that came in the container.
The top of the root ball should be at ground level – not higher or lower. Now fill the hole soil, tamp down snugly and firmly.
- Apply a layer of mulch around the tree to suppress weeds and retain moisture, ensure mulch does not touch the trunk.
- Water well.
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton 3281 Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: