Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy large trees from Barcham Trees online?

Yes indeed! At Barcham Trees we have perfected the art of producing a robust root system, in our Light Pots™. A root system that is able to support a tree as it establishes, providing exceptional results time after time. We have found that trends in buying trees over the years has tended towards people wanting more and more instant impact with their planting and thus lead to requirements for larger and larger trees from the offset. So if you are looking to buy large trees online, Barcham are here to help. We supply trees from 3m tall to 10m tall and they can be found throughout this website.

Is it true that small trees are more likely to readily establish than larger ones?

here is generally a common misconception that the larger a tree is when it is planted, the less likely it is to survive. This may have been an appropriate assumption some years ago, however as technology and science have developed a greater understanding as to why trees thrive or fail, methods of tree supply have developed in line with this to reduce the risks in planting large trees.

The risks in planting large trees is down to a lack of viable root system available for the tree when it is planted. As the sap in the tree starts to rise there is damand for the roots to supply the tree with nutrients and water. If there is not enough healthy root system to support the tree, the tree will fail. The larger the tree, the more root system required to enable the tree to establish.

At Barcham, we have developed our Light Pot container to produce a fully established root system that is not only able to help a tree to readily establish, but also to ensure that it will thrive irrespective of the size at which it is planted. Therefore at Barcham Trees we are able to supply robust trees with fully developed, healthy root systems at sizes from 3-10m in height to provide success following planting time after time

I am not sure where to start with my landscape project, do Barcham offer a site visit?

We do offer a site visit and advisory service, this can be administered in person or indeed via the chat facility of this website, via email or on the telephone.

We can provide advice to you upon receipt of images via email without charge, and are more than happy to do so.  Simply send your images to us a [email protected].  Please beware not to send Emails of greater size than 10MB, as sadly our system will not accept them; and in this instance you do not receive a message to say it has failed and we do not know that you have sent them.  When sending multiple images, either opt to send them as small files, or send them through separately.

We are also more than happy to come and visit your site for you, there will be a charge for this service that will be offset against any eventual tree order that you place with Barcham Trees.

Please contact the Barcham Trees Sales Team for further information, availability and pricing for site visits.

How big are the containers the trees come in?

The containers that we have at Barcham now range from 45L to 3000L.

The following guide gives you an idea of the dimensions of each size of container:

Barcham Trees container sizes:

Pot          Height (cm)   Width (cm)    Weight (kg)
45L          35cm            40cm            50kg
65L          40cm            45cm            75kg
85L          45cm            50cm            90kg
150L        55cm            60cm            155kg
250L        65cm            70cm            255kg
350L        70cm            80cm            355kg
500L        75cm            95cm            505kg
750L        80cm            110cm          755kg
1000L      100cm           120cm         1005kg
1750L      100cm           150cm         1755kg
3000L      125cm            175cm        3115kg

For further information regarding the size of Barcham Trees, please see “How big are Barcham Trees?”

Do Barcham Trees offer a planting service?

At this time we are not operating a planting service however in some cases we may be able to make a recommendation for a contractor in your area.

Please contact us with details of your requirements and we can see if we can offer help with this.

How long can the trees remain in their containers post delivery?

Upon receipt, it is advisable to plant your trees as soon as possible, as once they have left the intensive care of our nursery, they are vulnerable to damage and drying out.

During the Spring and Summer, when the trees are in full leaf or flushing, if you need to store trees prior to planting we recommend that you store them for up to a week only and take care to continue to water vigilantly.  They are best stored horizontally so they do not fall over and become damaged, however do be careful they will not be nibbled by wildlife if stored horizontally.

During the winter months the period over which you can store the trees after delivery and prior to planting is extended, as the trees are dormant.  Ultimately there is no real “rule” for how quickly they should be planted, so long as they are stored carefully.

If you would like further advice regarding storage prior to planting, please contact the Barcham Trees Sales Team.

When is the best time of year to plant trees?

Trees are best planted when they are dormant between October and March. As all of our trees are grown and supplied in containers they can be planted in the summer months as well, but the watering becomes more critical for the trees to thrive.

I have seen people using irrigation tubes when planting trees, what do you recommend

At Barcham we favour overhead irrigation and do not advocate the use of irrigation tubes. Watering is best achieved in a fashion that mimicks rainfall and therefore simply using a watering can with a rose attachment is very effective. The slower the application the better as this gives the tree the most contact with the water in order to utilise it.  For further guidance on watering, please read our guide How much to water newly planted trees.

I have planted my tree(s) successfully during the April to September period, how much do I need to irrigate?

It is fine to plant trees during April through to September but only if great care is taken to water over this period.

For the full guidance on watering newly planted trees, please read our guide How much to water newly planted trees.


If water does not drain away within ten minutes after irrigating you are in danger of drowning the tree(s) by suffocating the roots.

Should I carry on watering after it has rained?

Rainfall bounces off the canopy of a tree and may fall too far away from the root system of a newly planted tree for it to benefit.  It is the fibrous root system of a newly planted tree, that is concentrated close to the main stem, that needs to be kept moist and rain does not always achieve this sadly.

Your watering regime is best continued even during a wet spell of weather, with strong advice to be vigilant.  The bark mulch around the base of your tree is the key indicator, this should remain damp, but not wet at all.  If it is dry, then it is likely your tree needs some water!


If water does not drain away within ten minutes after irrigating you are in danger of drowning the tree(s) by suffocating the roots.

Please view our guide on How to water newly planted trees for more information.

Can I over-water my trees?

If water does not drain away within ten minutes after irrigating you are in danger of drowning your tree by suffocating the roots and often this will not result in immediate detriment to your tree.

Tree roots need oxygen and water, blended in measure.

Please view our guide on How to water newly planted trees for more information.

Can I use a garden sprinkler to water my tree(s)?

Garden sprinklers applied regularly, for short periods of time, are also a good method of irrigation as they are capable of providing water slowly and give an even distribution.

Please view our guide on How to water newly planted trees for more information.

My evergreen tree is losing its leaves, should I be concerned?

Although evergreen trees, as the name suggests, have leaves on them all year round, they do periodically go through a process of leaf regeneration.

This process involves the shedding of old leaves and replacing with fresh new leaves.  Do not be concerned if the plant still looks healthy and if you do not feel satisfied, please feel free to contact the Barcham Trees Team for further advice and review our guide When do evergreen trees lose their old leaves.

What size is a Medium, Large and Instant tree?

Generally, Barcham Trees are available in 3 sizes, Medium, Large and Instant.  The sizes are as follows:

Medium – 3-4m tall, supplied in a 35L,45L, 55L or 65L container

Large – 4-5m tall, supplied in a 65L/100L container

Instant – 5m+ supplied in a 150L, 200L, 250L or 350L container

Some trees are only available as a Small specimen, these are smaller than 3m and the height and container size will be mentioned in the description.

We also have some lines that are available as Super Instant trees.  These will be sround 7-9m tall and supplied in a 500L, 750L, 1000L or 1,750L container.

For further information please see our guide How large are Barcham Trees?

Should I keep the base of my tree free of grass?

Grass roots are extremely competitive and can be detrimental to tree roots and thus it is important to keep the base of your tree free from grass and weed roots.

The easiest way to ensure that these do not cause havoc is to place a bark mulch of 5cm over the base of the tree, we recommend a circle around the base of the tree with a diameter of 1m.

Bark mulch is a component of our Planting Kit and thus will come with your tree should you purchase a planting kit.  A video to explain how to plant a Barcham Tree can be found on our guide How to plant a Barcham Tree.

I am about to plant my Barcham tree(s), do I need to tease the roots prior to planting?

The very nature of the Barcham product will ensure that the root system that accompanies your tree is second to none, as such there will be no root spiralling and no need to tease the roots before planting. Simply take off the container and get planting!

Please read our guide How to plant a Barcham Tree for more information.

Do I need to stake/secure the tree(s) once planted?

It is recommended that newly planted trees are staked for the first two seasons following planting. The function of staking is to enable the tree some time to establish anchor roots to hold it upright before subjecting it to the perils of harsh weather conditions.

There is an option to purchase the necessary equipment for staking your trees from Barcham at the time of order. Barcham recommend that two stakes are used in conjunction with rubber tie for each tree. Stakes can then be driven either side of the root system, and the tie connected to the stake at the very top, around the stem and back to the stake.

We recommend you purchase a Planting kit at the time of order, this planting kit consists of:

  • 2 no stakes for Small, Medium and Large Trees / 3 no stakes for Instant Trees.
  • The relevant strapping or “tie” for the above stakes (2 for Small, Medium and Large and 3 for Instant).
  • Nails to secure the tie
  • Barcham special blend fertiliser.
  • One bag of bark mulch

The Planting Kit Plus also contains a bag of Soil Conditioner.

For more information please refer to our Planting Guide and Video How to plant a Barcham Tree.

I'm about to plant my tree, do I need to take the container off?

The Light Pot™ is a white container design which was patented by Barcham Trees in 2003, it is designed to be a useful tool when planting in an urban situation. In urban environments, where space is limited, the bottom half of the container can be cut off, following the thumb print marks, and thus the top half will remain. The top half of the container then acts as a root barrier, encouraging roots to grow downwards.

If you are planting into a rural or landscaped environment the whole container can be removed prior to planting as it is not necessary to try to control the root development.

For further info regarding planting please refer to our guide How to plant a Barcham Tree

I have extremely clay soil, do I need to add anything special to prepare the pit for planting?

There is no easy answer when planted trees into a very heavy clay soil.  The best advice is not to plant when the soil is excessively wet, or dry as this will make the process much more difficult.

The steps will help with your preparation in heavy clay:

  • Dig a nice, deep pit for the root ball of the tree – up to twice the size of the container is advisable if possible
  • Use a substrate such as pea shingle or crushed hardcore in the bottom of the pit, this will elevate the rootball of the tree from the bottom of the pit, should the pit fill with water
  • Back fill with a 50:50 mix of removed soil and good grade top soil. If you are concerned regarding the quality of the soil, increase the proportion of top soil used in the back fill.
  • Plant the tree proud of the ground, gradually making the surrounding soil level up to the level of the root-ball of the tree.

After planting, your watering regime needs to consider the fact that with a heavy clay, there is little drainage, with the potential for pits to fill with water, to the detriment of the tree, during periods of pro-longed heavy rainfall.  Simply forking around the areas outside of the planting pit can help water to drain if you are concerned.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Barcham Trees Sales Team.

Can I visit the nursery to select the trees for my order?

You are more than welcome to come and visit our site in Ely, Cambridgeshire, however due to the scale and extent of the nursery, it is available to visit by appointment only.

The nursery is open for visiting from Monday – Friday 9-4.30pm (and advisable by 3pm in the winter months).

Simply contact the Barcham Trees Sales Team to arrange an appointment by phone: 01353 720 950 or email: [email protected]

The nursery is extremely large and full of trees!  As such, it is most useful for you to have made a short list of the trees you might like to view, or have an idea of what you would like to see in advance of your visit.

I have an enquiry about a tree that is not listed on your website

Although every effort is made to ensure that all the trees we potentially stock are listed on the website, there is always the potential for additions to our stock lines to be missed.

Please email the Barcham Trees Sales Team for enquiries for trees that are not listed.

I want to plant a stilted hedge to provide a screen, how do I decide how many trees I need?

The number of trees that you require will vary depending upon the type of tree you go for and also the effect that you wish to create.

Are you happy to wait a couple of seasons for complete cover? If so, spacing the trees between 150-200cm centres would be adequate.

If you want an immediate screen, spacing would need to be between 90-120cm centres.

This is a simply a guide for planning purposes, it is advisable to further discuss your requirements with a member of the Barcham Trees Sales Team.

You may also wish to view the following guides:

What makes a good screening tree

How to buy screening trees

How much does delivery cost?

Delivery is priced by county and calculated using the delivery postcode.  Please visit our break down of delivery charges for a quote for delivery.

Delivery is a one charge that is applied per order, rather than to each tree.

If I order hydration bags without trees, how long will delivery take?

Hydration bags will be posted out to you by courier and should arrive within 3-5 workjing days of the order being placed.

If I order planting kits without trees, how long will delivery take?

Planting kits will need to be delivered by one of our lorries so this could take up to 15 working days.