When and how to plant a tree?


After choosing 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 to allow its rooting and then its development. Location, bare root tree or in container, season, size of the roots, size of the planting hole, dressing, praline, staking, watering: nothing should be left to chance for successful planting of a single tree.

Choosing a suitable tree for the garden

This criterion is essential when one wishes display your land because if the specimen on which we set our sights is generally small at the time of purchase, it will not stay that way for long and can even prove to be too invasive but also disproportionate to the land. Planting a tree in a small garden is a problem encountered by many homeowners, especially in urban areas, who, after a few years, regret their choice.

When buying a tree to plant, you must therefore inquire about the cut that he will reachadulthood, in height but also in terms ofspan. It must of course have enough room to develop but not provide too much shade for other plants which may suffer. It should not either block the light from entering the house or deprive it of sunlight because this is a humidity factor. Finally, to plant a tree with strong development, it must be at a respectable distance of the neighboring property, as provided for in the regulations.

It should also be remembered that a big tree must be planted far from the dwelling. On the one hand, this 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 also because it will end up lifting the tiles from 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 being crushed is erased, especially when the houses are close to each other.

When to plant a tree

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 best period for an excellent recovery. If such conditioning even allows, in the great majority of cases, to plant a tree at any time of the year, it is still more reasonable to abstain during the hot summer months.
  • Only between the month of November and the month of March for a tree in bare roots. This period of the year corresponds to vegetative rest. It is nevertheless necessary to avoid soils soaked by too much rain, on frost or snowy days, and to wait until the temperatures are positive for a few days to put your bare root tree in the ground. Even though the saying ” at Sainte Catherine, all wood takes rootIs often quoted by gardeners, it should not always be taken literally …

Small flat with regard to conifers which, they, must be planted in a sufficiently warm ground, namely either during the spring when the sun has started to warm the earth, or at the very beginning of the autumn period because the first frosts have not yet shown the tip 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 observing the following points.

  • Dimensions of the hole: twice the volume of the root ball,
  • Reserve the collected topsoil in a wheelbarrow,
  • Use a spade to loosen the bottom of the planting hole,
  • Place gravel or pebbles at the bottom to form a drainage layer so that the roots of the tree do not bathe in water. Its thickness must be more consistent in clay soil. In fact, 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 rotting of the roots.

Dressing the roots

This is the term used to refer to the preparation of the roots. This consists of cutting the ends of the larger ones in order to boost the formation of rootlets. The dressing is essential to promote the recovery of the tree.

Root praline

This other essential step concerns trees purchased in bare roots. The roots are coated before planting by soaking in a praline, a mixture ideally constituted:

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

A little dolomite is desirable in acidic soil if one wishes to plant a tree that prefers pH neutral soils. The mixture should 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 hold the entire root system and the praline. The praline is extremely effective for increase the chances of recovery. The soaking time is 24 to 36 hours to be really useful. Rest assured, you can buy a ready-to-use praline in a garden center.

The praline of bare roots must be carried out from the purchase of the tree to plant, just after dressing. Its advantages are as follows:

  • 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 brought by the praline have the role of facilitating the absorption of nutrients and water by the roots.

The roots of conifers should never be soaked in a praline. But the risk of error is low since they are marketed in containers, and we have seen that the praline only concerned bare root trees …

Install tutors

A young shrub that has just been planted needs to be guided during the first months, even the first years. We use for this the staking. Experts recommend positioning the stake (s) in the hole before planting the tree because staking after planting risks injuring the roots.

The tutor must be able to keep the tree upright and therefore withstand strong winds. It is chosen large enough but also of a good diameter and solid then it is pushed well into the bottom of the hole.

Tree placement

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

  • Decompress the topsoil in reserve and incorporate organic fertilizer, compost and potting soil.
  • Place a good quantity of this preparation at the bottom,
  • Position the shaft in the middle of the hole,
  • Keep the tree upright then fill the hole with the rest of topsoil to fill all the empty spaces,
  • Firmly pack the soil around the tree and fill it in again because it will settle when watering, but be careful not to bury the graft point when this is the case,
  • Form a watering bowl at the foot of the subject,
  • Tie the tutor with strong ties but without tightening the trunk,
  • Mulch the base of the tree to limit the evaporation of water, slow down the development of weeds,

Finally, even in rainy weather, thewatering after planting of a tree should be very generous and for the next 24 months the gardener should be extremely vigilant in this area, especially during the summer as drought can be fatal to a newly planted tree.

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