Is it too late for planting trees?

Traditionally it is always best to plant deciduous trees when they are dormant between the end of October and the end of March. Evergreen trees are best planted in October and March / April. Trees plucked from the open ground as either root balled or bare rooted specimens have up to 80% of their root system displaced so are more prone to failure when done outside of these months and are even quite fickle when done inside this period

However, containerized trees lengthen the tree planting window as the roots are un-wounded and ready to explore their new soil straight away. Even though it is still best to plant in season, they can still be planted very effectively all summer so long as they are given regular and slowly applied water every week until they go into their autumn dormancy.

Tree roots grow actively when the soil temperature rises above 10 degrees Celsius and soil structure is all important to promote root run. Tree roots want water and oxygen blended in measure for maximizing performance. Imagine a nice crumbling soil based compost like John Innes running through your fingers. It isn’t compact so hold loads of oxygen and it retains water for the roots to access. Heavy clay soils are difficult to get into a good structure in the winter as they often hold water into big clods. Work a clay soil in the summer when it dries out and can be shattered into a friable crumb to nestle nicely against a root system. Also be mindful not to compact the soil by excessively firming in after planting, the stakes do the job of holding your newly planted tree.

Preparation is the key to tree planting. Digging the soil to the correct depth and creating the right soil structure are the most important things before watering in after planting. Please refer to our short planting video, plant our trees in this way any month of the year and you won’t go wrong!!

Posted by Mike Glover

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