Appletons Tree Nursery Ltd, 1748 Main Road South, Wakefield, Nelson, Phone 03 541 8309, Fax 03 541 8007
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Cultivating and digging hole

Correct planting depth

Firming soil

How to plant a tree

  1. Choose your site well, Is it suitable for your chosen tree?
  2. Prepare your site by spot spraying with herbicide or clear the site manually of all competing grass and weeds.
  3. Cultivate an area 40cm x 40cm and to a depth of 30cm, opening up a planting hole large enough to accept the root system.
  4. Handle seedlings carefully, keeping your plants in their packaging and the bag closed to retain moisture. When planting protect seedlings from water loss by minimising exposure to wind and sun.
  5. Place the tree in the centre of the hole spreading the roots. Replace the earth around the roots. See diagram below for forestry planting method.
  6. Pull the plant through the fill approximately 10cm to ensure the roots are straight. Continue to hold the top of the tree and firm the soil around the stem with the soles of the boots.
  7. The collar of the tree (the junction between the stem and roots) should be at ground level. However in drought prone areas the tree can be set 10cm deeper in a shallow hollow to gather rainfall water. This helps if the soil is dry, trees are exposed to desiccating wind or periods of heavy frosts.
  8. Slow release fertiliser tablets can be added to the side of the planting hole. If using soluble fertilisers allow 6-8 weeks, before applying in a ring 20cm from the tree stem. Boron is deficient in most South Island soils, leading to inferior timber quality, growth deformities and terminal die back. Consult your local fertiliser company representative for advise on possible soil deficiencies.
  9. Cover the area around the tree with mulch, do not pile mulch against the trunk. Bark, stones, course sawdust, post peelings, silage tops or cut vegetation all make excellent moisture retaining mulch. If mulch isn’t available or practical, then its essential to spray or cultivate all competing vegetation and weeds.

Forestry planting method