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Top Tips for Tree Planting

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November 2015 – 

With only two days to go until the 2015 Carbon Capture Tree Planting Day; we’re sharing some of the Woodland Trust’s top tips to remember when planting trees.

In higher and more northern climes, you may be able to plant into May. We plant in winter because this is when the tree roots are dormant and most able to cope with being moved.

To see how to plant a tree, watch our video or download our instructions. Below is a guide to pit-planting:

  1. Use a spade to take the turf out of the ground, turn it over and split it almost in half.
  2. Dig a hole slightly wider and deeper than the roots of your tree. Loosen the soil around the edges.
  3. Put the tree in the hole and check the depth. Look for the “collar” – the mark on the tree from where it originally started to grow above ground. This should be level with the top of the soil. If a tree is planted too deep the stem may rot; too shallow and the roots above ground will die.
  4. Hold the tree upright and gently push back the soil, pressing it down onto the roots. Don’t compact the soil as this will stop water and air circulation, but make sure your tree is steady.
  5. Put the turf back over the hole with the split either side of the young tree, grass side down.
  6. Cover your tree with a guard if necessary, using a cane or stake provide extra support.

Protect your trees

Deer, hares and rabbits will all be interested in nibbling your new trees. Rabbits can usually be kept at bay using tree guards and canes, with larger, sturdier tubes and stakes required to provide protection against deer or other livestock. On larger schemes (e.g. over 10 hectares) fencing may be more cost effective.

What to wear

What you need to wear in the woods varies according to the type of wood, the weather and the type of activity you are doing. However thereare some basic items which will help you make the most of your visit
without ruining your clothes.

Light waterproof jacket

If it’s likely to rain on your visit pack a light waterproof jacket to keep you dry. If it’s cold outside simply wear lots of layers underneath rather than one thick coat, that way if you get warm you can remove layers.

Old, dark clothing

Woods can be muddy so wear dark and/or old clothes so as not to ruin your favourite items. Try to wear lighter fabrics rather than jeans as lighter fabrics dry more easily if you get caught in a rain shower.

Solid footwear

Most woods have uneven surfaces so good, solid footwear with grip on the soles will help keep you steady on your feet. You don’t need special expensive walking boots unless you are planning to walk long distances. A good pair of boots or trainers is fine.