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Don’t Kill your Trees! – Planting Depth

It’s a sad fact of life, but not all bought trees will make it to maturity. Unfortunately, this is usually the fault of poor planting technique, rather than the tree itself, and as one of the country’s leading tree suppliers we know only too well where people can slip up. Successful tree planting isn’t that difficult, but the instructions are there for a reason! Planting too deeply, or in wet clay, can often lead to major complications. Read on for some tips to help set you on the right path.

Firstly, your tree will likely be provided in a pot. Planting depth needs to be of an equal level. The top of the root ball should be level with the surface of the soil. Keep aware of this, if you’ve done landscaping work in the garden you should check if the soil level has risen.

One hurdle many overlook is mulching. Of course you should mulch, but do it carefully. Use bark or mulch mats, not soil, and only start a few inches away from the trunk. Mulching too tightly is as bad as planting too deeply! Feel free to mulch around two inches deep, but keep your distance and leave some exposed earth by the trunk.

It’s always important to bear these things in mind, but that goes double for wet clay soils, which tend to retain water. Having the collar of the root ball submerged under damp earth or water represents a death knell for any immature tree, and should be avoided at all costs.

Don’t be afraid to firm out the soil if you’ve dug too deep, which reduces settling. Most roots will branch out horizontally from the root ball, so this won’t interfere with root growth, and reduces the possibility of the tree sinking. Be sure to check back in the next few weeks, when we’ll be talking more about the best ways to keep from killing your trees. If you need any of the things in this post be sure to check out our range of planting accessories, and get fully prepared for any planting scheme.

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