Planting a tree : when and how ? Our advice

After having chosen a tree adapted to the size of the land and its future environment, it is essential to plant it at the right time and by adopting the best method possible in order to allow its rooting and then its development. Location, tree with bare roots or in a container, season, size of the roots, size of the planting hole, dressing, pralinage, staking, watering: nothing should be left to chance to successfully plant a tree in isolation.

Choose a suitable tree for the garden

This criterion is crucial when one wishes plant one’s land because if the specimen on which we set our sights is generally small at the time of purchase, it will not remain so for long and may even prove to be too invasive but also disproportionate to the terrain. Planting a tree in a small garden is a problem encountered by many owners, especially in urban areas, who, after a few years, regret their choice.

When buying a tree to plant, it is therefore necessary to find out about the cut that he will reachadulthoodin height but also in terms ofwingspan. It must of course have enough space to develop but not overshadow other plants that may suffer. It must also not prevent light from entering the house or deprive it of sunlight, as this is a humidity factor. Finally, to plant a tree with strong development, it must be at a distance respectable of the neighboring property, as provided by the regulations.

It should also be noted that a big tree should be planted away from the house. On the one hand, it limits the risk of damage if lightning strikes it. On the other hand, if it is too close to the construction, its root system can damage the foundations. Be careful too because it will end up lifting the slabs of the terrace.

Finally, you can cheat a little on the proportions if you have a small garden and want to reduce the feeling of suffocation. We choose a tree with small or medium development that we plant in foreground and thanks to its verticality, the impression of crushing is erased, especially when the houses are close to each other.

Tree planting period

There is a simple rule to remember about the best time to plant a tree:

  • Between the first week of September and the last week of April for a purchased tree in container, that is to say in a pot. This is the ideal period for an excellent recovery. If such conditioning even allows, in the vast majority of cases, to plant a tree at any time of the year, it is all the same more reasonable to abstain during the strong summer heat.
  • Only between November and March for a tree bare roots. This period of the year corresponds to the vegetative rest. It is nevertheless necessary to avoid soils soaked by too much rain, days of frost or snow and wait for the temperatures to be positive for a few days to put your bare-rooted tree in the ground. Although the saying ” at Saint Catherine, all wood takes rootis often quoted by gardeners, it should not always be taken literally…

Small flat regarding the conifers which must be planted in a sufficiently warm groundnamely either during the spring when the sun has begun to warm the earth, or at the very beginning of the autumn period because the first frosts have not yet shown the end of their nose.

Planting a tree in isolation: the method

Here are the different steps that will allow you to obtain excellent results.

Prepare the planting hole

It is recommended to prepare the planting hole a few days before placing the shrub there respecting the following points.

  • Dimensions of the hole: twice the volume of the root ball,
  • Reserve the topsoil removed in a wheelbarrow,
  • Use a spade to loosen the bottom of the planting hole,
  • Place gravel or pebbles on the bottom to form a drainage layer so that the roots of the tree do not bathe in water. Its thickness must be greater in clay soil. Indeed, in this heavy soil, rainwater and irrigation water tend to stagnate because clay soil becomes very hard when wet and this no longer allows good water flow. Waterlogging is therefore rapid, which is detrimental to plants since it causes root rot.

Root dressing

This is the term used to refer to root preparation. This consists of trimming the end of the larger ones in order to boost the formation of rootlets. Dressing is essential to promote recovery of the tree.

Root pralination

This other essential step concerns trees purchased in bare roots. The roots are coated before planting by dipping in a pralinea mixture ideally made up of:

  • A third of rainwater (no tap water because it is too rich in chlorine, which is harmful to micro-organisms),
  • Of a third of clay mud,
  • One-third cow dung, horse manure, compost or composted manure.

Some dolomite is desirable in acidic soil if a tree is to be planted that prefers neutral pH soils. The mixture must be pasty in order to stick to the roots. It may therefore be necessary to reduce the quantity of water if necessary.

A very large container is used so that it can contain the entire root system and the praline. Pralinage is extremely effective for increase the chances of recovery. The soaking time is 24 to 36 hours to be really helpful. Rest assured, you can buy a ready-to-use praline in a garden centre.

Pralination of bare roots should be done upon purchase of the tree to plant, just after dressing. Its advantages are:

  • Prevents roots from drying out while waiting for planting,
  • Promotes healing,
  • Protects against the proliferation of diseases but also parasites,
  • Accelerates the formation of small roots because they benefit from a highly favorable environment. Indeed, the micro-organisms provided by the pralinage have the role of facilitating the absorption of nutrients and water by the roots.

The roots of conifers should never be dipped in praline. But the risk of error is low since they are marketed in containers, and we have seen that pralination only concerns trees with bare roots…

Install Tutors

A young shrub that has just been planted needs to be guide during the first months or even the first years. For this we use the tutoring. Specialists recommend positioning the stake(s) in the hole before planting the tree because staking after planting risks injuring the roots.

The stake must be able to keep the tree straight and therefore resist strong winds. We choose it large enough but also of a good diameter and solid then we push it well into the bottom of the hole.

Setting up the tree

Finally the time to place the shrub in the planting hole has arrived. We proceed as follows:

  • Decompact the topsoil in reserve and incorporate organic fertilizer, compost and potting soil.
  • Place a good amount of this preparation at the bottom,
  • Position the tree in the middle of the hole,
  • Hold the tree upright then fill the hole with the rest of the topsoil to fill in any empty spaces,
  • Compact the soil well around the tree and fill in again because it will settle when watered, but be careful not to bury the grafting point when this is the case,
  • Form a watering trough at the foot of the subject,
  • Attach the stake with solid ties but without tightening the trunk,
  • Mulch the base of the tree to limit water evaporation, slow down the development of weeds,

Finally, even in rainy weather, thewatering after planting of a tree must be very generous and during the next 24 months the gardener must be extremely vigilant in this area, all the more so during the summer because drought can be fatal to a newly planted tree.

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