Make The Most Of May With A Pre-Planting Ponder

marinate on it!Tree planting season is upon us, and  I want to help you be smart about it.

Consider May a useful pause. A time to ponder, so that come winter your tree plan (fruit/ shelter/ stock, human shade/a bit of pretty/ privacy) is well thought out. There are already far too many trees in the wrong place – too close, too big, too dangerous. Let’s stop this nonsense. Let’s put our thinking caps on first. (I am of course here, at your service should you need some help)

Before You Go Shopping

Imagine a tree that matches your conditions and therefore thrives, a tree that fits the space – no future hassle of pruning or felling, and does the very thing you wish from it (shelter, food, shade etc).

To make this goodness happen, all you need do is know these three things. (Know them before you go shopping!)

  1. Know the parameters of your space – width and height
  2. Know all the environmental stuff that happens at your place (frost, salt, soil type etc)
  3. Know the job the tree is going to do for you

Being clear on these parameters allows you to find the perfect match, thus avoiding distracting seductions and future pain.

Before You Get Planting

Step out the width of your tree, and work out where to plant it. If a 6m spread is what it is, then go 6m. It looks a lot I know, but keep it real! The consequences are expensive and painful.

Label a stake with the tree’s name and bang it in where you think your tree should go.

Live with this for May and ponder these things:

  • Future shade and it’s impact on gardens, other trees, your house, you…
  • Access
  • Look up – wires, roof’s, gutters
  • Look beyond – view, light, neighbours
  • Consider the roots – wires, pipes, concrete paths

Moving a stake is easy.

Be Exotic

leaf litter

Every garden needs at least one exotic, deciduous tree. For a glorious burst of red and gold in Autumn, but mostly for a wonderful pile of leaves. In the never ending quest to find mulch, it makes sense to grow your own. And boy are soft leaves good for soil. They have, after all, been team mates a long time.