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Planting Trees – A Guide

When to plant your trees

We recommend planting trees when they’re dormant and are therefore less likely be damaged. The season for tree planting runs from November and March. However, it may last a little farther throughout Scotland as well as Northern Ireland.

We offer single trees as well as small tree packs on our website all year long because they are able to use their own plug of compost to protect them and are therefore able to be planted anytime.

We do not recommend planting more trees during the off-season because it could result in an increased loss rate, so our large scale planting projects are only available during the time of tree planting.

When your trees arrive

Place the trees upright and protected from wind and frost. If you notice that the roots appear as if they’re drying out it’s a good idea to gently spray the roots with water to keep them wet.

Create your site

Before planting to plant, you must mark the exact location the areas where each tree is put by using stones or spray paint, or even canes

If your planting area is overgrown Cut the grass back and pull out the weeds. This will facilitate planting and will reduce the competition for water, allowing the saplings flourish.

Visit Sweet New Earth when looking for tools for planting trees.

What is the space that trees need?

We suggest planting trees at least 2 metres apart but you can plant them 1-5 metres apart according to your space and the plan. The natural look of wavy lines is more appealing as opposed to a logical row of trees. If you’re planting just one hedge, space your trees about 30cm apart. For a tall hedge make sure you plant the trees in a double row in a zig zag style. Space your rows 50cm apart, and 40-45cm between each tree.

Pit planting

It is recommended to plant pits since it’s more thorough and guarantees that your trees will have greater contact with soil. It’s suitable for all ground types in particular areas with drought, however it may be challenging if you have the soil is stony.

To plant a new tree, you’ll require a spade and a tree that is clearly visible, a spiral for protection, a cane to support that spiral and somewhere to put it.

The first thing to do is dig yourself an opening. It doesn’t have to be wide, but it will need to be deep enough to hold all those tree roots. You must ensure that you aren’t putting the soil too far since you’ll require it again in a minute.

If your hole is large enough, you can take the tree and pull it over to the other side which I find is the easiest thing to do because then you will be able to see the depth of the hole. You can also see that all of the tree’s roots are covered, which is the most important aspect.

Firm up the soil – you can make use of the heel of your boot to do that and make sure that all air spaces are closed. It needs to be nice and solid – you do not want frost to get into the soil later on.

After you’re certain that it’s sturdy, Give the tree a gentle push and it will hopefully stay put.

The next thing you’ll need is the cane. You’ll need to put it in just next to the tree, but not too close because you aren’t going to push it through the roots you’ve just nicely planted.

Then, take your spiral, take one end and secure it to the cane and tie it in a knot. It is then a gentle winding up until it reaches it’s top. But make sure that you do not harm your tree as you’re at it.

This bit’s a bit fiddly so you might take some time, but you’ll be able to master it at the end. Then, push it into the ground, perhaps just a centimeter to make sure it’s not a problem for any vermin to enter underneath it. Then, ring the tree. It’s that all there is to it.

Slit planting

This is a straightforward method that is suitable for grass and bare soil. It can be easier than pit planting if you’ve had a stony soil.

Step 1

Make sure to press your spade until it is completely in the ground, then push it backwards to make an slit. Make sure it’s deep enough to accommodate the tree roots.

Step 2

Make sure the slit is open using your spade . Place the tree inside using the root plug about 2cm below ground level.

Step 3.

Take the spade off and push the soil around the tree.

Step 4

If you’re using tree guards or spirals to safeguard your saplings then this is the best time to add these. Apply the protection with a firm press in the ground.

Planting T-notch

The T-notch method is another fast method that works well for grass-covered ground, but not for soil that is bare. This is a good alternative to pit-planting in areas subject to drought, but is not recommended for locations with clay soils.

Step 1

Put the spade completely to the floor.

Step 2

At a right angle the first cut Continue step 1 to form T-shape.

Step 3

Make sure you take the spade to the first cut, then lever it up, separating the turf.

Step 4

Place the tree carefully in between the turf pieces.

Step 5

Turn the spade around and the grass will settle. Check that all roots have been inserted into the hole.

Step 6

Adjust the tree so that it is level with the ground and firm up the soil around the tree.

Ten Tools You’ll Need When You’re Planting Trees

If you’re planning to plant some elegant shade trees or purchasing an orchard filled with fruit and nut trees Planting trees will require many tools to complete the task. By armed with the appropriate equipment will ensure the project runs smoothly and gives your trees a strong start.

Whether you’re planting first thing in spring, or waiting until fall to capitalize on milder weather this handy list of the 10 essential tools you’ll need to plant trees will make sure that you don’t forget one crucial aspect of the task:

1. Wagon

They are heavy, especially ones that are grown within large containers. It isn’t a good idea to transport the trees far, so using the aid of a wagon (either an unpowered cart or a larger tractor-pulled tractor trailer) will help you bring the trees to their holes without breaking your back.

Tractor-pulled trailers can also be useful to transport the rest of the tools you use to plant trees.

2. GPS Receiver

If you pair it with a tape measure (see the next section below) along with graph papers an GPS receiver will allow you to plan the most ideal location for each tree, which allows you to envision your orchard’s maturation when the trees are still young.

3. Shovel and Spade

This set of tools, a shovel that can scoop dirt and spades for breaking the sod and cutting into the soil, will help to quickly and efficiently dig the large, deep holes necessary for tree plantings.

4. Digging Bar

There’s a possibility that you’ll run into large rocks while digging the holes. If you’re anything like me, after you’ve picked the perfect spot for a tree, you’ll be determined to dig the hole, no matter what obstacles you’ll encounter.

A digging bar can help you pry heavy boulders out of the ground.

5. Bucket

If you’re pouring loose soil into the soil surrounding your holes, it will be difficult to clean it up again after the actual event.

Instead, shovel the soil into a huge bucket. This will help keep things tidy and will save time in backfilling the hole. A separate bucket can be used to store rocks.

6. Tape Measure

Instead of just calculating the depth of your holes, and then hope they’re not wrong, take measurements of the height and width of the rootballs you’ll be planting to make sure that your holes are an ideal match. Dig your holes a few inches deeper than you need to before backfilling the bottom with soil that is loose until the tree is at the right height.

This will create softer soil for the roots to penetrate in the beginning.

7. Utility Knife

It isn’t easy to remove large trees from their pots. While I love saving plastic pots to be used again I’ve discovered the most efficient solution is to cut the sides of the pot using a knife that can be used to take the tree out this way.

The utility knife can be used to slice through overly crowded roots growing on the outside of the rootball , to stimulate growth outward.

8. T-posts

If your trees appear to be spindly and/or slightly crooked in their growth, stake them with a T-post can assist them in keeping them from wind and help them get straight until they’re large enough to manage on their own.

You can also install T-posts around each tree to help support a fence wire for protection from hungry deer.

9. Fence Post Driver

T-posts don’t do much if there’s not a way to install them. A manual or gas-powered fence post driver will quickly install them.

10. Tanks or Water Jugs

Newly planted trees require lots of water. Therefore, bring with you a water source for them to get a good watering after planting.

If you’re in the vicinity of an irrigation system, it’s perfect. If not, water jugs or tanks can be carried via wagon to further places. I use a 35-gallon Leg tank that I use to water the trees in my orchard and I’ve been happy with the results.

Have fun planting!