Care and Maintenance Advice for Trees

Tree Care and Maintenance

We offer a wide selection and variety of trees for every gardening purpose, from fruit and almond trees to maple and birch.  Like all plants, take your garden conditions into consideration when selecting your new tree.  Also remember that trees grow, so take eventual tree height and spread into consideration when selecting a planting area.  Our trees have sturdy and well developed rootballs and can be planted year round providing the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.  There are some seasonal recommendations for planting so please feel free to contact us is you have any questions.  If you are considering a Citrus Tree, please refer to our Citrus Tree Care and Maintenance Page.

With proper care and maintenance your new tree will create wonderful foliage and thrive in your garden for a lifetime.

Tree Planting Advice

Plant Spacing

  1. Take the scale of your garden into consideration when selecting your new tree.
  2. Keep eventual size in mind when considering planting close to buildings. It is best to plant trees that will grow under a 12m (40ft) eventual height within 7m (25ft) diameter from a structure.

If you are planting an avenue or it is recommended to dig a trench 50 cm (20 inches) wide and a depth of 1.5 times the root ball.  Make sure to use a plant line to keep your hedge straight and orderly before you start digging. The placement of the trees in your row depends on the size of the plants:

  • Plant height 50-100cm (20-40in)   -recommended 6 plants per linear meter
  • Plant height 100-150cm (40-60in) -recommended 4 plants per linear meter
  • Plant height 150-200cm (60-80in) -recommended 3 plants per linear meter
  • Plant height 200-250cm (80-100in) -recommended 2 plants per linear meter
  • Plant height 250-300cm (100-120in) –recommended 1-2 plants per linear meter
  • Plant height 300-350cm (120-140in) –recommended 1-2 plants per linear meter

Ground Preparation

  1. The planting area should be approximately 3 times the diameter of the shipping container.
  2. Ideally the area of the planting area should be sprayed with a non-residual weed killer 4-6 weeks before planting.
  3. Generally it is recommended to lay Planting Compost 5-8cm (3-5 in) over the immediate planting area and thoroughly mix it in with the soil with a gardening fork spade deep after removing the top layer of vegetation before planting. If needed, amend the soil with Horticultural Gravel  to improve drainage.

Day of Planting

  1. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot and just as deep. Gently spike the bottom of the hole with a garden fork to encourage downward root growth, this is especially important with clay soils and will prevent the roots circling in on themselves.
  2. Carefully remove the plant ball from the pot and break up the bottom edges taking care to unfurl and tease out the roots from the base so that they will establish in the soil. Tap the side of the pot with your hand if the root ball is being stubborn and will not remove easily.
  3. Place the plant in the hole in a proper upright position with top part of the root ball slightly below ground level, approximately 5 cm (2in). Take a couple of steps back during positioning and look to make sure that the plant is straight.
  4. After the plant is positioned properly, fill the area surrounding the hole halfway with a 1-1mixture of native topsoil and Planting Compost. Fill the hole with water and allow the water to percolate down into the soil before backfilling to ground level. This will allow the soil to bond with the roots and eliminate any air pockets.  Then fill in the remaining soil.
  5. Once backfilling is complete, tamp down the ground with your boot and make sure that you are just firming down the ground and not pushing down the soil.
  6. Apply 5-8 cm (2-3 in) of mulch around the base, but do not allow the bark to touch the base keeping a 3-5cm (1-2in) ring around the trunk. Mulch contact with the trunk could cause a fungal infection; hence it is preferable to form a “mulch donut” and not a “mulch volcano” around the trunk for best results. Water your new tree 2-3 times per week for the first two weeks after planting and then regularly for the first 3-6 months until the roots are established. After this initial period, your new conifer only requires watering during extended dry spells.

Container Planting

  1. Pick a pot or trough with good drainage holes that is approximately 20% larger than the pot in which it was shipped.
  2. Place a screen over the drainage holes to prevent clogging and fill the bottom 5 cm (2 in) with Horticultural Gravel to improve drainage, prevent clogging and create a lower centre of gravity. Potted trees can become top-heavy and this will lower the risk of accidental spilling during high winds.  Make sure and cover the gravel with a layer of soil so the roots do not directly touch the gravel.
  3. Position the tree in the container so that the rootball is 5cm (2in) from the lip of the pot and backfill with Planting Compost up to the root line gradually while firming down the sides and topdress with mulch.
  4. Water fully until water comes out of the drainage holes and water 2-3 times per week for the first 2 weeks and then once per week for the next several months.  For further watering, place your finger 5-8 cm (2-3 in) into the soil and water if the soil feels dry.  

Tree Trimming Advice

We offer a wide variety of trees and quite often tree trimming comes down to personal tastes depending on how you plan on shaping your new tree and trimming for specific varieties.  However, one of the universal recommendations for trimming and pruning is to always remove diseased, dying, damaged and dead limbs and dress properly.  It is also very important to clean your tools between plants to minimalize the risk of spreading disease and keep your tools sharp to avoid injury and make the job easier.

Tree Watering Advice

We offer a wide variety of trees and recommend that you follow species specific recommended guidelines for watering.  There are some nearly universal recommendations as almost all trees like to have “dry feet” with proper drainage.  Therefore make sure that your tree has an adequate amount of water but do not waterlog it.  Water at the base of the tree thoroughly but do not water until puddles form in the planting area.  An automatic irrigation system is always recommended.

Tree Feeding Advice

We offer a wide variety of trees and recommend that you follow species specific recommended guidelines for feeding.  Mulching is generally recommended to deter weed growth and preserve moisture in the soil as keeping the roots warm during the winter months.