Fruit Tree Planting Hints
Plant your tree as soon as you can after reciept or collection. If your soil is very wet, hard or frozen delay planting until conditions improve. In the mean time heel in your tree, remove all the packaging and dig a small trench or suitable hole. Fill in around the roots with loose soil and firm well, water in throughly.
Water again at 1-2 weekly intervals until permanently planted. Trees can be heeled in for several weeks but are best planted by the end of February/ Early March.
Preparing The Soil
Dig a hole approximately 45cm-60cm (18inches to 2 foot) deep and wide or large enough to allow you to spread out the roots easily. Improve the soil structure by mixing in compost or well rotted manure (approximately 1/3 compost to 2/3 soil).
Vitax Q4 fertiliser can be added as a base dressing which will improve root and shoot growth during its first season. We now stock'Root Grow' which is a mycorrhizal preparation - this will be particually beneficial in poorer soils or on sites where trees have been planted previously.
Planting and Staking
Place the tree in the hole at the correct depth, (you will notice a line on the main trunk where the soil came to when growing in the nursery). With a bare-root tree drive a stake in firmly to at least one foot below the bottom of the planting hole, this can easily be done between the roots (for larger trees and potted trees two stakes either side of the trunk would be more suitable. Fix a suitible tree tie towards the top of the stake to prevent wind rock.
Backfill the hole with the soil-compost mixture and firm down with your heel. Leave a shallow indetation around the tree rather than mounding up as this will help water go directly to the roots. The final soil level should be level with the original planting mark. Mulch with bark or compost as this will help with reduce watering and weeding.
Water thoroughly and then every 2-4 weeks over the winter. Increase the watering intervals during the spring and summer depending on the weather. Trees benefit from regular watering but must not be kept constantly wet so allow to dry out slightly between watering. During the spring and summer a thorough soaking every 4 to 14 days would be beneficial and a top dressing with Vitax Q4 will enhance the growth.