Although our trees are hardy with excellent establishment, a lot of hard work on the nursery can be destroyed by a few seconds of careless handling on site. You will get much better establishment if you handle the trees carefully and plant them well.
Treat your trees like Bone China – a little TLC goes a long way
- Don’t allow plants to be thrown around on site
- Store plants out of drying winds & under shade to protect against freezing or over heating
- Plants arriving on site and not in bags or boxes should be protected from browsing by vermin
- Use a purpose designed planting bag to protect delicate root systems
Give your trees the best start
- ·Plant trees when soils are moist and free from frost
- Cultivated soils will generally provide a better medium for root development and plant growth
- Cover the root plug with 25mm of soil; firm the soil well around the roots
- Take advantage of micro sites suitable for planting; avoid wet hollows and tree stumps
Bugs & Beasties abound – even if you think you haven’t any!
- ·Shelters offer certain advantages, but think about fencing for larger areas
- Don’t forget vermin from neighbouring properties and use an appropriately sized shelter
- Shelters are not maintenance free; budget for maintenance and then do it!
- Consider using insecticide treated trees when restocking conifer stands
Weeds are your plant’s worst enemy
- ·Weeds compete for water and nutrients in the rooting zone of young plants, restricting their growth
- Tall weeds, especially bracken, can collapse and smother young trees
- If using chemicals to weed young trees remember to protect the trees from spray drift
- Maintain a 1 metre diameter weed free spot around the tree – remember inside the shelters.
Care and Maintenance of Stock Prior to Planting
“Treat young plants like Bone China – they are fragile but if handled carefully will serve you well.”
– Danish School of Forestry –
The recommended method for receipt of cell grown plants is in our economic, shrink wrapped Planter Packs.
- Plants need not be heeled in on receipt. However, as the root plugs hold only a limited amount of water,they should be protected from desiccating winds.
- During the growing season stock should not be held in the dark for long periods. Short periods in the dark,such as when in transit are not detrimental.
- During the growing season, stock should be stood upright to ensure growing shoots do not become distorted.
- In the event that planting is significantly delayed, especially when trees are actively growing, regular checks should be made on the moisture status of root plugs. It is advisable to keep root plugs moist.
- Where watering stock becomes necessary, PlanterPacks can be stood together and irrigated from above the packs will hold, and allow plugs to soak up, the water. Water carefully to avoid any risk of waterlogging.
- Finally, whilst the PlanterPack wraps are photodegradable, do please collect all wraps, boxes and bags following planting and dispose of them sensibly
Planting Cell Grown Plants
The uniform, compact size of cell grown plants makes the planting considerably easier than the planting of bare-root stock where long straggling root systems all too often become the victim of a sharpened spade. The type of planting tool to be used for any type of stock is influenced by local planting conditions and personal preference of the planter. Whilst a traditional planting spade is quite adequate for planting cell grown plants, a purpose designed tool, the Canadian Planting Spear, has been found to be the most versatile. It is the easiest tool to use in ground which is stony and on restock sites penetrated by roots or covered with brash. In heavy clay soil, twisting the spear will “tear” the side of the hole rather than leaving a “smeared” side which might impede root penetration.
Whilst a traditional planting spade is quite adequate for planting cell grown plants, a purpose designed tool, the Canadian Planting Spear, has been found to be the most versatile .
1. Insert spear vertically, push back and forward slightly and then twist through 180 degrees. In heavy clay it may be necessary to insert again at 90 degrees to the first cut and twist again.
2. Place plant at correct depth – top of plug half an inch BELOW the level of surrounding ground.
3. Insert spear about 5cms toward the planter and pull handle toward planter to firm soil at bottom of plug and close any air pocket.
4. Push handle forward to firm soil at top of plug.
5. Close ground with toe – taking care not to scuff the plant.
When planted make sure the top of the plug is at least 2-4cms below the surrounding soil surface and covered by soil. This will prevent drying of the root plug.
(Canadian Planting Spears are available from Alba Trees Plc)