How to plant a tree

Planting a tree is basically easy, but just like many things that may seem easy, some guidelines have to be followed in order to be successful.


Our step by step guidance

1. Location

The correct choice of location is important for the start of the newly planted tree. If possible, choose a location next to another plant, with which the tree can accord. The plant is like a wet nurse providing shade and protecting the tree from the wind. Even the surrounding roots benefit from plants growing close to one another. The dynamic agroforestry takes advantage of all these benefits and accelerates thus plant-growth. If there cannot be found any plants nearby, it is possible to plant one or even several fast-growing plants next to the seedling, which will function as future wet nurses. If that is not possible either, you should at least put some mulch around the tree-seedling.

Photo: Naturefund

2. Digging the whole for the tree

The pebblier and more hardened the soil and the bigger the root ball, considerably a larger whole has to be dug. Between 50 x 50 cm and 100 x 100 cm are ideal, concerning the diameter and the depth of the whole.

Photo: Naturefund

3. Stones

Remove all the stones from the wohle. The start will be much easier for the tree, if the roots are not hampered by some kind of resistance. Especially larger stones can take a lot of the tree`s enrgy and by removing them you accelerate its growth.

Photo: Naturefund

4. The substratum of the plant`s whole

Larger stones are sorted seperated from the diggings. Then the diggings are mixed with a few shovelfuls of compost, attenuated dung, dilapidated leaves and any other organic material. If the soil is very argilliferous,  it is appropriate to make it more permeable to water adding a few shovelfuls of sand to increase its water retention. If the soil is very arenaceous and nutrient-poor, you should accordingly add a bigger amount of compost, dung or any other organic material. The finished substratum should fill the whole for the plant almost completely. If problems with voles are encountered, it is important to protect the roots with some sort of blocker, e.g. non-galvanized wire.

 

 

Photo: Naturefund

5. Earthworms

If possible, add some earthworms to the substratum. They are the best thing that can possibly happen to the soil and the tree. On the one hand the soil is being loosened regularly, on the other hand they enrich the earth with a natural dung.

Photo: Naturefund

6. The young plant

Some are delivered bare-root, while others have earth around the root ball. Here only the alternative with earth around the root ball is described. In any case, if bare or protected by some earth, the root is to be treated very carefully. Because this is where the brain and the heart of the plant are located (Stefano Mancuso: The roots of plant intelligence). Some types of plants are very sensitive when it comes to a slight damage in the root area; they will not continue to grow normally. However it is very important to cut roots with a sharp pruners if they protrude from the root ball. That rather encourages root growth, because if not cut the roots will face up after planted or will grow underneath the plant.

Photo: Naturefund

7. Planting

Into the substratum of the whole for the plant a whole is made, which gets smaller with getting deeper and definitely has to be bigger than the root ball. There the plantlet is placed with its root ball. CAUTION: The earth on top of the root ball has to be on one level with the surrounding area. The plant should not sit lower than the superficial earth of its root ball reaches. The substratum will now be filled around the root ball, in such way that the plant is upright and stable.

Photo: Naturefund

8. Compaction of the Substratum

Now the earth around the plant has to be trod down, so that a ring is forming, which can absorb the rainwater, without the water touching the trunk of the plant. CAUTION: If the soil is very heavy and argillaceous, the earth should not be trod down because otherwise the infiltration of water into the plant`s whole is hindered.

Photo: Naturefund

9. Watering

To water the freshly planted tree use a watering can. The water should be poured carefully into the ring surrounding the plant. We recommend at least one and in dry seasons up to three full water cans.

Photo: Naturefund

10. Mulch

To finish the act of planting off, the plan`s whole should be covered with mulch. CAUTION: The mulch must not touch the trunk of the plantlet, so keep a distance of approximately 10 cm.

Photo: Naturefund

11. Stability

In regions, where intense wind is common, young trees need some extra support. Two poles should be placed on each side within a distance of approximately 20 cm. They are wrapped with a band in such way that the trunk is supported in the middle. In our example the plantlet gets enough support by a plant and the biomass surrounding it.  

Photo: Naturefund