How to plant trees

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Here is a useful guide we have made to guide you through the process of planting your new tree so that it gets off to the best start in life. Don’t forget though if the thought of planting a tree of this size is a daunting one or you just want someone else to do the hard work for you we can do this.

Planting is best done between October and November however container-grown trees can be planted at any time of the year.

If trees are not being planted immediately, store them upright and make sure that you water them sufficiently whilst they remain in their containers.


Plants will not grow in soil that contains too little air, insufficient nutrients or extremes of moisture. Preparation of the planting site is important for the long term survival of the tree.

  • Prepare the planting hole twice as wide as the root ball and slightly deeper than that of the root ball to allow for a layer of mulch.
  • Dig the hole shallower in wet soil conditions but always check tree suitability first.
  • Improve the fertility of the soil by mixing in 1/3 of a bag of Rose, Tree and Shrub compost.

Planting Recommendations

  • Remove the tree from the container or bag.
  • Cut any roots that you can see to be circling within the rootball.
  • Scrape away the top layer of compost from the rootball. The point where the roots flare out from the trunk should be near the soil surface.
  • Sprinkle rootgrowTM granules into the base of the hole. The granules should be in direct contact with the rootball. A 150g packet of rootgrowTM should be sufficient for a single 12-14cm tree.
  • Bonemeal can be added to the planting hole at this stage although is not essential.
  • Place the plant in the planting hole.
  • Wrap the watering tube around the rootball of the tree. One end should be at the base of the rootball whilst the other ending protrudes slightly from the soil surface.
  • Refill the planting hole with the soil removed initially.
  • Firm the soil around the tree. The top of the rootball should end up about 2.5cm (1 inch) above the surrounding soil.
  • Angle the stake at 45o to the trunk and hammer it into the ground, making sure not to damage the root ball. Bury roughly half of the stake in the ground.
  • Using a proper tree tie, secure the tree to the stake.
  • Water well.
  • Apply the rest of the Rose, Tree and Shrub compost (2/of the bag) as a 5cm (2 inch) mulch from the edge of the rootball outwards.

For a printable version of this information please click here