A tree is one
of the most rewarding plants to grow in your garden. Watching it develop
over time and knowing that it it can be handed down through generations
is a wonderful feeling. It's important therefore to get the basics
right, in order to avoid disaster. Having your tree die or needing
to cut it down is truly heartbreaking.
It has been said that there
are three things you should do in life: Create a home, have a child and
plant a tree. On the first two, ther is much advice available, but
how do you plant a tree which continues to grow throughout the years?
There is no all-embracing
answer to keeping a tree healthy thoughout its life, as there are so many
different types of trees that exist. However, there are some common things
that you should bear in mind.
Before a tree is planted,
much is to be considered. Which place is the best one? The
roots must be able to stretch themselves out, and also the branches.
Position your tree at a suitable distance away from your house therefore,
to avoid problems which could be caused by roots and branches once it grows
to full-size. If it is too close you your house, the roots could,
over time, attack the house's foundations. Similarly, make
sure that the tree is positioned far enough away from your neighbors' property
so that it does not darken your neighbors' views.
When choosing a type of tree
to grow, it's worth thinking about what you would like from your new garden
occupier. If you'd like to offer food and protection to birds, you
should probably choose a type of tree which is naturally local to your
part of the world - if possible a decidous tree.
Planting a tree
Autumn is the most favourable
time to plant your tree in your garden. The next best alternative
is during the early spring.
Most of the time, trees that
you buy are usually in a pot, but trees from nurseries are often naked
root, that is to say without protecting earth around the roots. You must
plant a naked root tree quickly, otherwise, the roots will dry up.
Before planting the tree, place the roots in water for 1 to 4 hours.
The planting pit should be
1 meter in diameters and about 50 centimeters deep. Place the root
bundle of the tree in the pit. Before refilling the pit, position
a strong supporting stake in the open hole. Placing the stake in
before filling the pit, rather than afterwards, will ensure that you do
not harm the roots.
Refill the hole carefully
with composted earth, gently shaking the tree occasionally as you fill
the hole, to properly distribute the earth between the roots. A lot of
water helps this distribution between the root fibers.
Once the pit is full, ensure
that the ground is well watered - it must be really wet to help your tree
settle in to its new home.
Then fasten the tree
to the stake with tree tape to support it during its first years.
This will help to ensure that your young tree does not fall victim to strong
winds which can destroy unsupported trees.