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Choosing and planting the right tree

This article was first published on 05 Jun 2014.

Choosing and planting the right tree

Choosing and planting the right tree

All gardens, regardless of size need some height in them.  There is a tree for all locations but choosing the right tree can be overwhelming as the variety and range is vast.

Consider what you would like the tree to achieve, and always go for more than one attribute. You do not want a feature plant in your garden to look good only for a couple of weeks.  Pick something that offers multiple attributes such as flower, fruit and autumn colour. Before planting, decide whether the specimen has enough root space to survive.  Consider whether roots could damage any foundations or underground structures. You could save a lot of time and money in the future.

Autumn and spring are great times to plant trees as there is plenty of moisture for root activity to help the plant establish.  You do not have to exclude the rest of the year, but in summer you’ll need to water the tree to avoid it dying.

Dig your hole at least twice the size of your pot and mix some good organic compost in with the soil you removed.  Firm the mixture in around your new plant. Whatever the season, watering is crucial for a young plant, as roots will not have expanded out to reach moisture in the surrounding soil. Imagine the pot shape still in the soil and water according to that.  Taper off as the plant ages.

Dylan Norfield is Collection Curator of the Geographic and Arboretum Collections at Dunedin Botanic Garden.