Planting trees

Planting trees (and shrubs) to provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.

  • Find a suitable site for your tree – if you haven’t got space in your own garden, then ask around. What about a friend or relative’s garden, or your school grounds?
  • Decide where to plant the trees or shrubs. It needs to be away from water or gas pipes, electricity or telephone cables and not too close to buildings.
  • Dig out a square hole about as wide as one-and-a-half spades widths. It needs to be at least the depth of the tree’s roots. Remove any big stones and keep the soil on one side. Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole so that the roots can find their way into it more easily. If the soil is poor, then mix in some peat-free compost.
  • Dampen the tree’s roots with water, and put some water in the bottom of the hole. At the base of the plant stem you should see a “nursery line”.  This is where the soil was before the tree was dug up.  Do not plant it any deeper than that line.
  • If you are planting trees and shrubs, it is best to plant in the winter between November and March.  At this time of year, many kinds of trees and shrubs can be brought without pots – usually “bare rooted”.  Not only are they cheaper, but it also saves peat which is a rare resource.
  • Mulch around the base of the plant with well rotted compost.  You can even use grass clippings in the summer.  Mulching helps suppress weeds, retains soil moisture and reduces the need the water. If you have to water try and use water from a water butt and water as often as necessary (about once a week in dry weather).  And remember to weed around the trunk until the tree is well established.

Find out more on trees at www.treecouncil.org.uk and www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

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