Uniquely from Barcham, you can buy large trees online by viewing a video of the actual tree that you will be supplied with direct from our tree nursery. You can see the height, shape, quality and health of the tree that will be delivered to you on purchase. Out of our stock of 125,000 large trees we video 5,000 trees in this way so rest assured if you can’t find a variety or as many as you would like we have plenty to fall back on!
Our experienced team of arboriculturalists are here to offer you advice to make the best choice of trees for your garden. Barcham Trees are at the forefront for innovation and advice within the Arboricultural Sector and a major cause for tree decline is related to the depth that they are planted. Mike Glover, Managing Director, explains:
In recent winters, wet & windy weather has made it all too easy to see which trees have been planted too deep. Last November I saw a Lime gently rocking in the soil, its trunk leaving an ever increasing hollow in the soil line, signifying that its root system is buried way below the correct level. It is widely recognised that planting trees too deep is a major cause for premature decline.
Tree roots need oxygen and water blended in measure so inevitably grow within the top metre of the soil. We tell clients buying a Barcham Tree to plant the container an inch proud of the soil line to allow it to settle back over time into the disturbance caused by digging the hole. Better to plant too proud than too deep!
Root balled trees present a real challenge. Cultivation and root balling in the field heave soil up the stem so that they sit several inches too deep to start with. Nurseries who containerise root balled trees heap compost on top of them and then landscapers use root anchors to stabilize them at planting. I reckon most root balled trees are planted at least 5 inches too deep and this is the chief reason for failure further on down the line.
Planting pit design is another area of concern. I speak to landscape architects who specify a standard 1.2 metre square pit, but why make it so deep? The tree will only settle into the disturbed soil, especially if dragged down by the force of a root anchor, with the roots ending up in a compacted soil profile with no oxygen to fuel them. Width rather than depth is what a tree needs.
We are not alone in this. Professor Gary Watson, researching this problem in the USA, has coined the term ‘Root Shank’ for the tubular stem of the tree below ground before the root system starts. Imagine a sumptuous red wine glass with a delicate stem, flat base and wide cup. This is a good way to picture a tree and how it stands firm. If its base isn’t wide it blows over easily and if it is planted too far up the stem it rocks about in the soil.
When we lift our trees from the field and containerize them, the top of the first root is no more than a centimetre under the compost level and for customers who specify, we then dab a paint line at the point the root flare leaves the compost. For the customer, if they can’t see this paint line after planting, they know it is planted too deep! We call this ‘The Barcham Line’ and hopefully it will become an invaluable aid to countering the annoying and self-destructing practice of deep planting.
Please take the time to review our Planting Video and advice about planting Barcham Trees here.
Watering is a key ingredient to maximize rapid establishment after planting. As soon as the tree starts to initiate leaves after planting, it’s time to make sure that it gets all the water it needs. Slow release water is what’s required or else the soil doesn’t have time to grip it on the way through. Imagine applying a litre of water onto a hanging basket and seeing most of this run through to the patio several feet below. If you applied this water as ice, not a drop would run through the basket as the compost would have time to grip the water as the ice slowly melts. For a newly planted tree, water outside the root zone is useless to the tree as it can’t be accessed and this is why we recommend our watering bags to give your trees the perfect start. They ward off grass competition around the tree whilst delivering slow release water to the root zone. By watering in this way, every drop you put into the bag counts in favour of the tree and the bags can be reused for years on other plants and trees you plant! Fill your watering bag once a week from April through to October and your tree will romp away!
If you follow our advice and plant in the way we demonstrate we GUARANTEE the trees we supply. Like everything, it’s easy if you know how and we are here to offer the advice!
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