Whether you’re planting a tree to increase the beauty of your garden, increase privacy or create biodiversity for local wildlife, follow these tips for success!
Planning on planting a tree in a pot? Read this first.
1. Research the best trees for your area
What kind of tree you place in your garden is up to you, but be mindful that certain trees aren’t quite suitable for certain environments. For example, while willow trees are native British trees that create homes for wildlife, their wide-spreading roots are notorious for growing into building foundations and causing damage.
Doing your research can save you a headache down the line, and can also help you identify trees that could benefit your garden and local wildlife.
2. Plant your tree in autumn
Autumn is the best time to plant a tree, as this means that the tree will become established without the stress of the heat in summer. The cool autumn air is good for the foliage as it reduces energy sapping, while the temperature of the soil is still fairly warm, allowing roots to spread.
3. Loosen the root ball
Gently squeeze the root ball of the tree with your hand to release any compacted soil. This will allow the roots a better chance to grow easily into the surrounding soil. You should be doing this with most plants, but definitely plants that have been grow on in a pot.
4. Stand the tree in water before planting
Soak the roots in a bucket of water before you begin planting. This will ensure that any dry roots are dehydrated. Soak the plant for at least 15 minutes to let the roots take up a good amount of water.
5. Make a wide hole
When creating a hole in which to plant your tree, make it double to triple the width of your container, but plant it at the same depth. Planting too deep can deteriorate the bark of the tree, resulting in inhibited growth or death. Once you place the tree in its hole, surround it with plenty of soil and ensure that it is secure from any strong winds by wiggling the trunk. If the tree moves a lot and doesn’t seem stable, pack in more soil.
6. Add support
You should add some kind of support to your tree after planting by hammering a stake into the ground by the tree at a 45 degree angle and tying the tree to the stake. This is especially important if the tree is top heavy, or if it is planted in an exposed area.
Planting a tree in your own garden is usually harmless, but there are times when mass tree planting initiatives have gone wrong – read my blog post about this here.
Are you planning on planting trees in your garden? Let me know your favourite species in the comments section below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.