Every season brings its own jobs and now is the ideal time to be planting bare-rooted trees and shrubs. Having chosen your new tree or shrub you want to give it the best possible start and the first thing is to prepare the site carefully.

Begin by digging a hole roughly 95cm wide and deep and mix the topsoil that has been dug out with a sprinkling of bonemeal and lots of organic matter. One of the most important points to consider is good drainage so it helps to loosen the subsoil at the base of the hole and fork through the sides.

By doing this you will encourage root penetration. Newly planted trees are susceptible to wind damage and to protect against this put in a stake about 60cm below the level of the soil and about a third of the height of the bare stem.

Call in a favour from a friend to help by holding the tree firmly while you backfill using the prepared mix of top soil and organic matter. Finally the soil should be trodden down firmly to exactly the same level as it was previously planted, to decide this look to see where the bark changes colour.

To help your tree get enough moisture sink a piece of drainpipe near the planting hole to help the water get straight to the root system. Then, last of all, secure with tree ties to the stake. It is important that you buy the kind that won’t rub the bark.

Having done your best for your new plant you can look forward to seeing it thrive and mature over the coming years.

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