Planting bare root or cell grown plants is a straightforward task, however, do not attempt to plant if the ground is frozen or waterlogged. Find a suitable position for your plants, bearing in mind future growth and potential height and spread at maturity.
Bare rooted or cell grown plants can be 'notch' planted in 3 steps:
1. Begin by inserting the blade of a spade into the ground. Push the spade handle away from you and then bring it back towards you. Once you remove the spade, you will see that you have created a cavity or ‘notch’ in the ground.
2. For bare root - place the plant roots within the cavity and shake to ensure that all of the roots are in the cavity and pointing downwards.
For cell grown – place the cell gently into the ground. Ensure the top of the plug (the soil surrounding the roots) is positioned at 2 to 4cm below the surface to avoid drying out.
3. Fill the cavity with soil. Use your heel to firm the soil around the plant to remove any air pockets. Once planted, give them a good water if practical to do so.
You are now ready to install your support and protection.
1. After planting, position the stake on the windward side if there are strong prevailing winds, and between 2cm to 5cm from the base of the plant.
2. Hammer the stake into the ground with a stake driver or mallet (ideally knocking 1/3 of its height into the ground). Ensure it is vertical (particularly important on sloping ground). The top of the stake should be below the top rim of the shelter and above the top tie wrap.
1. Position the shelter over the tree, making sure not to damage any lateral branches, sliding the releasable tie wraps over the stake at the same time.
2. Push the shelter into the ground 1-2cm. This forms a safe barrier to deter vermin from burrowing under the shelter.
3. Tighten the thumb releasable ratchet ties, ensuring the shelter is firmly positioned.
4. Tuck the tie ends into the holes in the shelter for neatness and to deter rubbing by deer or sheep.
Plan for removal and recycling of shelters at end of life once the tree is established. More information on recycling is available here.