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Planting bare-root trees

Planting bare-root trees

Whilst you can plant container-grown trees any time between September to early May, the time to plant bare-root trees has just begun, as these can be best planted between November to the end of February. In fact, November is the ideal month as it allows for the roots of the tree to become established before winter sets in and the ground is frozen.

Give your tree the best possible start to its long life by planting it right! Here’s how:

  • Choose the site carefully: some trees will do better in a sunny spot, others in (partial) shade.
  • Dig your hole: the size is important so your tree grows at the right height in the soil. Make a hole that is large enough to accommodate the current root of the tree and add some extra space to make room for growth.
  • Make your hole a third wider than the root ball, look for the 'soil mark' just where the roots meet the stem.
  • Use a garden fork to lightly loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to let the roots get through easily.
  • Bang a sturdy tree stake into the bottom of the hole at 45° to vertical, pointing into the prevailing wind. It should cross the trunk about halfway up.
  • Now place the tree in the hole next to the stake, spreading out the roots evenly.
  • Back-fill the hole with soil, treading it in gently as you go so the tree is well anchored in the soil.
  • Water thoroughly, so the moisture sinks right down into the root zone, and top with a nice deep mulch of well-rotted farmyard manure, pulled back from the trunk so it doesn't encourage rotting.
  • Finish by tying the tree to the stake with a specialist rubber tree tie. They work in a figure-eight between tree and stake to prevent rubbing and allow the tree trunk to expand.

Please ask the staff in our garden centre in Petersfield for more information and advice about planting bare-root trees.