Planting a tree 101: How to do it and what to use

The greatest joy of gardening? Beyond having a full bloom of blossoms or a hearty harvest of vegetables — is without a doubt it has to be planting a tree. Not only does a tree create shade, provide a haven for wildlife, green your space, but also assists in air purification. You will experience many rewards for planting this backyard hero, whether an evergreen, an indigenous beauty or fruitful citrus. Learn the best preparations tips and process with our guide for a thriving tree.

Get rooted in planting a tree

Planting a tree is a true hallmark of creating a home and giving back to the environment. Adults feel great accomplishment and children for generations to come will love looking forward to tree swings, treehouses and playing in their shade. Trees establish a sense of space and what better way to understand your backyard than by getting your garden ready with our guide. Planning to plant a tree comes with many decisions – the most important being space and the environment.

Branch out your tree care knowledge

Before starting your exciting task of planting a tree, we advise checking your region and appropriate season to ensure your tree has a smooth transition. For most climates, planting is best done in autumn after leaf drop, or, in spring just before buds emerge. This time is ideal as it will assist the tree in establishing its roots during cooler months before spring rains cause soil erosion and summer heat triggers growth. However, for tropical and subtropical regions that receive regular sunshine and rainfall, anytime is appropriate.

The second main consideration when adding a tree — the space. Before any major digging or earth movement, be sure sure to check where your utilities are. This includes fibre lines, pipelines, and soak pits, as well as overhead power and telephone lines. You will want to find a space clear at ground level for roots to grow out and space above for treetops to fill out.

Anticipate for growth to happen. For larger trees able to reach a height of 21m tall, plant these trees at least 4.5m away. As for smaller trees reaching 9m, keep them about 3m away.

The right planning and preparation will assist in:

  • Keeping gutters free of debris and potentially blocked drains
  • Detering pests jumping or crawling from branches on to your rooftop
  • Avoiding structural damage caused by fallen branches or downed trees
  • Maintaining a healthy space keep roots from damaging the foundation
  • Eliminating public safety hazards when planting the tree near a road
  • Evading service interruption to your home
  • Stopping the need for awkward pruning that will damage the tree shape and integrity
  • Ensuring an optimum landscape appearance

Welcome home! Getting your tree snug and settled

1. Identify the trunk flare

This is the part of the trunk that fans out just before the root ball at the very bottom of your tree. The flare should still be partly visible once the tree gets planted.

2. Dig a hole

The hole should be shallow, broad and about 2-3 times wider than the tree’s root ball, but only as deep as the root ball.

3. Remove the container

This is where you will need to inspect and correct the roots. Any circling roots will need straightening or cutting.

4. Determine the right depth

When placing your tree, avoid having a deep hole as this will cause poor root development due to a lack of oxygen.

5. Observe and straighten

Once the tree is in the hole, stand back and circle the space to see its placement from all angles. This will help in needing to make any minor adjustments and shifting it to the correct upright position.

6. Fill the hole

Once in the correct place, pack the soil at the tree base gently but firmly. This will help it stabilise and remove any air pockets that could dry out the roots.

7. Use stakes

This is an optional step, but many experts advise putting in reinforcements at this stage to develop a strong trunk and root system.

8. Spread mulch

Use mulching to assist in holding moisture, manage soil temperatures and stifle any competing weed or grass growth.

9. Continue care

The best growth is only possible with correct care. Be sure to:

  • Keep the ground balanced — moist but not waterlogged.
  • Water about once a week.
  • Increase your watering schedule during hot and windy weather.

If you are planning to plant a citrus tree, we have a pest treatment tutorial just for you.

Don’t ‘leaf’ without using these super solutions

To ensure your tree thrives, we have specially designed tools ideal for your new tree. Give your tree the right amount of nitrogen to help with healthy leaf growth and phosphorous for sturdy and strong root development with Wonder Root Builder Bone Meal, an organic-based fertiliser for planting shrubs, lawns and trees.

Also, add worm castings for a head start. Earthworms feed on plant debris (dead roots, leaves, grasses, manure and soil). Their digestive systems concentrate the organic and mineral contents of the food they eat, leaving behind a plentiful ‘compost’, which helps plants thrive by ultimately creating richer soil. We have harnessed this natural resource in our Wonder Organic Vita-Boost Vermicompost to provide your tree with an abundance of nutrients.

Another great resource to promote a healthy start  — Wonder Plant Starter All Purpose. This

complete granular fertiliser is great for feeding and planting most garden plants. Containing Bio Carbon Boost Granules, this blend balances and delivers nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to encourage foliage growth, flowering and fruiting, a perfect package for any tree.

Stand tall, grow and thrive

Get out there and start planting a tree. If you have any questions regarding the best products to use, contact us for more information. To get regular tips and tricks delivered straight to your inbox from Wonder, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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