Every garden should have a tree, and October is a perfect time to plant one on your plot.
Soil is still warm and wet, aiding initial root establishment this side of winter, meaning your new addition will get off to a great start when the sap rises in spring.
You need to research carefully before buying a tree for your garden. For the average sized garden, many trees will grow too large in time. It’s best to stick to varieties that don’t grow much over 6 metres (even then, some pruning may be needed to keep them to a suitable size for your garden). Another alternative is to plant a large growing variety that responds well to annual hard pruning (coppicing or pollarding) to keep it under control.
No matter what tree you choose , here’s how to plant it
- Water the tree in it pot and allow to drain.
- Dig a planting hole twice as wide but not much deeper than the plant pot
- If your topsoil is shallow, barrow away subsoil rather than use it to refill the hole.
- Mix a handful of bonemeal (pictured) to the bottom of the planting hole and another handful to the pile of excavated soil.
- Remove the tree from it’s container, tease away dense roots and set it in the hole. Check the level the compost surface should be level with the surrounding soil surface.
- Backfill around the roots, treading down layers of soil to knock out air gaps as you go.
- Multi-stem trees do not need staking, but standard trees will need tying to a stake to prevent wind rock.
- Set a stake around 5cm from the stem, using a rubber mallet to knock in into the soil so it is 1/3 to ½ the height of the tree
- Use a rubber tree tie to secure the tree to the stake
- Water the tree then apply a 5cm deep layer of mulch (bark chippings, garden compost, etc) around the base, to trap moisture, prevent weeds and protect roots from winter extremes.