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Tree Planting Methods - Small Single Staked Trees

1.)    Soak the rootball / container well several hours before planting, to thoroughly wet the compost

2.)    Dig a hole the depth of the container and at least 4” (10cm) wider than the container on each side. Lightly fork the bottom of the hole to break up any compacted soil. A small handful of bonemeal may be added at this stage

3.)    Remove the tree from the container. Rootballed plants have hessian and sometimes wire around the roots – this should NOT be removed. It will protect the roots from damage while planting, and both the hessian and wire will rot away naturally in about 3 to 6 months

4.)    Place the tree in the hole. The tree should be planted so that the top of the rootball is level with the surrounding soil

5.)    Method for a single upright stake

Place the stake as close to the edge of the rootball as possible. To avoid splitting the stake, use a block of wood between the stake and the hammer.

Fill in the gap between the rootball and hole with a 50/50 mix of soil and planting compost and firm well. If using a watering system, fill the hole to within 6” (15cm) of the top. Place the irrigation system around the root system, and nail the bracket to the stake with a single nail, then continue to back-fill the hole, making sure it is firm and without air pockets.

If necessary, saw off the top of the stake so that the top is between 1/3 and 1/2 of the tree’s height. Fix the tree tie at the top of the stake and adjust it to hold the tree firmly. Use a nail driven into the stake to prevent it from slipping down the stake

6.)    Method for a single stake at a 45 degree angle

This method can be useful for all small trees and conifers. Backfill the hole as described in Step 5.

Fix the stake at an angle. When planting on a windy site, drive the stake in so that the top of the stake faces the prevailing wind. The top of the stake should be at a point between 1/3 and 1/2 of the tree – you may need to saw off any surplus if the stake is too long. Fix the tie at the top of the stake and use a nail driven into the stake to prevent it from slipping down.

7.)    WATER WELL AFTER PLANTING. Trees need regular watering for at least six months. Adjust watering to the weather conditions.

Feel free to download the information sheet on this topic complete with instructional images, or visit our post on planting methods for larger trees with double stakes, or one on successful tree planting. If unclear, please ask us – we are always happy to give advice.

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