National Tree Planting Week starts 28th November

The 40th anniversary of National Tree Planting week stars at the weekend so I thought I would run through a few pointers to help with long term success to establish newly planted trees.

Planting distance

It is very common for trees to be spaced for day one look rather than 50 year look! By planting trees too close together you weaken the strength of trees as they mature because they compete in tandem rather than grow alone. The shapes of their canopies suffer as well as they are drawn up battling each other for light rather than given the space to form a lovely even crown. Most avenue trees are planted at 10 metres apart but after 50 years or so hindsight suggests 12-15 metres apart would make a better show. Another problem from close planting distance is that you have to make a decision later on down the line to remove one to allow progress for the other. Time and money are both wasted in this case!

Tree physiology

When deciding on the tree to plant you have to work with the conditions you have rather than force a tree to grow on land that doesn’t suit it. A good example of this is when faced with a clay soil. Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, thrives on heavy clay soils whereas Beech, Fagus sylvatica, prefers lighter soil profiles. Both trees are similar and are confused as the same by many but only the Carpinus will romp away on clay once established. Acer griseum is one of the prettiest trees you are every likely to see but plant it in a hard urban area with reflected heat and light and it will surely fail. Plant Acer griseum in a dappled shade woodland environment and it will romp away. You can’t beat Mother Nature on this so always try and match a tree’s physiology with your conditions on site.

Planting depth

Please see previous blog

Ground conditions

Unfortunately tree planting time is generally when the ground is at its wettest and the soil structure most difficult to fashion. Storms Barney and Abigail has saturated the west side of the country and planting into holes that fill up with water is going to end in the failure of the tree. If the weather is against you, delay planting until the conditions are right! Aftercare: Whatever you plant will have to be watered from the following April through to October to get it established. With this in mind concentrate planting in areas per season rather than scattergun across a large area that will be tricky and time consuming to maintain with water in the summer. A watering bag is also a helpful way to ensure trees are getting enough water.

Ask your nursery

We are always on hand to give advice so if you are uncertain on what, how or when to plant feel free to give us a call on 01353 720950 or email [email protected]

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