Tree planting tips


Trees, hedges and borders

A tree branch amidst lush green leaves with a sign reading "Arbour Day: Top Tree Tips" against a bright blue sky.

Tree Planting Tips

Arbour Week is celebrated each year in South Africa from 1-7 September. While it’s always a good time to plant a tree, this national week reminds us of the important role that trees play in our environment and our communities. We’ve included a few tips below to help you choose the best trees for your garden, as well as how to plant them.

Choose the right tree for your needs :

  • First consider the size of your garden. If you have a smallish garden then a tree which grows to a mature height of 10m is probably not the best choice. Ask a horticulturist at one of our five branches to tell you how big you can expect a tree to grow before buying it.
  • Where will you be planting the tree? If you want to plant it next to a wall or paving then it’s best to choose a tree with a non-invasive root system.
  • Will your children play in close vicinity of the tree? In this case, it’s best to avoid a tree with thorns. However, thorns can be an advantage if used as an extra security provision if the tree is planted next to a boundary wall.
  • Will the tree be planted close to a swimming pool? If so, it’s best not to opt for a deciduous tree, as you’ll spend all of autumn removing leaves from your pool.

How to plant a tree :

  • Dig a square hole measuring about 60cm x 60cm. A square hole encourages the roots of the tree to grow sideways, which gives the tree greater stability.
  • Add a spadeful of compost and half a cup each of bonemeal and 2:3:2 fertiliser to the hole.
  • Add some of the soil that you dug out of the hole and mix everything together. Fill the hole with water. Wait for the water to drain away.
  • Remove the packaging and place the tree in the hole, ensuring that the tree is planted at the same height as it was in the packaging.
  • Use more of the soil that you initially dug from the hole to firm the tree in place. Water well.
  • Feed your new tree with an application of 2:3:2 about a month after planting.

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