After Care Advice
Trees are a long term investment, yet many gardeners fail to give them enough care in their early years to help them to establish well.
To ensure success when planting trees, providing good aftercare is just as important as how the tree is planted. The first two to three years after planting is critical to help it establish. If it is planted properly and cared for, it should flourish and become a valuable feature in your garden. It is an investment, and it would be a shame to lose out on the benefits of a healthy tree through neglect.
Watering, weeding, staking, mulching and formative pruning are important for successful establishment.
The main priority is to give the tree plenty of water. Attention to watering is essential for the first two growing seasons. After planting, trees need to be watered in well to help the soil settle in around the roots, and ensure there are no air pockets. Any large newly planted trees need regular watering through the hot summer months until it can put down enough roots to sustain itself.
After this, your tree will still need to be watered regularly during any dry weather the growing season. Therefore, the whole rootball should be thoroughly soaked a minimum of once every week for the duration of the growing season, but may need a thorough soak every few days in very hot weather, or on a very free draining sandy soil. If you are uncertain about whether you are under or over-watering, please contact us for advice.
As well as keeping the tree well watered, it is advisable to keep an area around the base of the tree free of weeds or grass. This is because the tree roots then don't have to compete for water or nutrients, and can grow and establish much quicker. It is recommended you keep a circular area clear around the trunk of the tree, around a metre in diameter minimum. This can be done by hoeing or digging out the weeds, but ideally by using a mulch of organic matter around the base of the tree. This will help suppress the weeds, retain soil moisture and provide nutrients for your tree. Any organic matter is suitable as a mulch, although the most suitable for mulching trees and shrubs are: compost, leaf mould, wood chip or bark, mushroom compost and well rotted manure. Spread the mulch around 2-4 inches thick, leaving an area clear around the trunk of the tree.