Blossom trees - planting instructions

Prepared for the Beaconsfield Society by




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Planting of specimen trees is best done between November & March.

Planting should not be undertaken in frozen or water-logged soil conditions.

Ideally trees should be planted as soon as possible after delivery / collection. If there is to be a short delay the roots should be covered and kept moist and frost free. If the period before planting is to be more than a couple of days then bare-rooted trees should be heeled-in (i.e. the roots temporarily placed in dug soil or a raised bed) and root-balled /containerised ones covered in straw or similar.

There is no need to add fertilizer or organic matter unless the soil is particularly poor

1. Prior to planting the roots or root-ball should be watered.

2. Open up the bag or root-ball covering to get an idea of root size.

3. Dig a square planting hole the same depth as the roots / root-ball / pot and about twice the width necessary to accommodate the spread roots.

4. If the ground is compacted use a fork to spike the base & sides of the hole but do not dig over the base.

5. Position and drive in the post(s) for staking the tree into the base of the hole – this is done now so as to avoid damage to the roots once the tree is in place.

6. Place the tree in the hole at the correct depth – i.e. the level of the soil of the root-ball or in the container or the root collar in bare-rooted stock (the root collar is the level just above the roots that was the soil level in the nursery) – and the required spacing from the stake. Do not plant deeper than the nursery soil level.

7. Refill with the soil removed from the hole making sure it is firmed in around (including below) the roots to eliminate any air pockets & build up to the level of the root collar and surrounding ground. Don’t stamp the soil down but press down firmly with the heel. Put any turf removed back into place last but place upside down.

8. Attach the tree to the stake(s) with an appropriate tie / belt and fit any protection around the base against rabbit damage if this is likely to be a problem.

9. Water the tree in.


• Watering – once the buds begin to swell water as required. In spring a good soaking (a watering can full) once a week may be required, less if there is rain. This is best done in the evening to restrict evaporation. Once the leaves have fully opened a normal British summer may be wet enough but in dry or exceptionally hot spells supplementary watering would be beneficial.

A perforated irrigation pipe can be installed at the time of planting to target the water more at the roots if desired.

• Weeding – maintain a weed free area (including grass) around the base of the tree to reduce competition for water.

• Mulching – well composted wood chips (not grass mowing or other green material) could be used as a mulch to prevent weed growth but maintain a clear area around the stem so that it does not rot the bark.

• Check the belt / tie annually and adjust as necessary to prevent chafing / constriction.

Pete Whipp   B.Sc.(For.)       E-mail:

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