A tree that has been replanted will always need time to recover. Therefore, be sure to provide the necessary care both during and after planting.
SoilThe soil is the absolute foundation for a healthy tree. Besides the mineral fraction, a well-balanced soil also contains sufficient air, water and organic matter. This is an essential growth parameter for your tree, whether your soil is sandy, clay or loam. The organic soil improver used when planting the tree ensures that the soil contains sufficient air, improves the soil's moisture retention capacity and provides initial nutrients for the soil biota (the living organisms in the soil). After planting, it is important to continually monitor the soil quality.
Frequent walking or use of machines on the ground around the tree should definitely be avoided. Otherwise, your nicely loosened soil will be become compacted, reducing the oxygen supply to your tree. The absorption of water primarily occurs via the fine root hairs of the tree and the majority of these are located in the top 30 cm of the soil. Therefore, it is very important to keep the area around the tree free from grass, since grass will compete with the newly planted tree for water and nutrients.
Soil organisms must be able to develop properly. It is therefore advisable to allow leaves from the tree to remain on the ground where they fall. The leaves will then be broken down by soil organisms, a natural process which provides the necessary nutrients for your tree.
FertilizerWe have already advised you to mix fertilizer through the top layer of the soil when planting your tree. The Pro LongGrow db fertilizers provide a slow release of nutrients. With these fertilizers you give your tree an optimum start and allow it to recover from replanting. After this time, fertilizer will no longer be necessary. If the tree is in the right location and provided it has been planted in the proper way, the soil organisms will take over after planting. If your tree nevertheless struggles after planting, fertilizers can help. However, it is important first to identify and tackle the underlying cause of the problem.
WaterUntil new roots grow out through the root ball, the tree will be reliant on the water present in the root ball. The soil in the root ball can dry out more quickly than the underlying soil. It takes one to two years for the tree to fully take root and become established. Take into account the following advice when watering your tree.
- It is better to give your tree adequate water once a week rather than multiple times a week. The water must reach a sufficient depth, to around 40-50 cm. If the water only reaches the superficial soil, it will quickly evaporate in hot weather.
- Heavy soils will absorb water very slowly. This may cause the water to flow away from the root ball during watering. Therefore, make sure the tree is watered slowly.
- Never fully saturate the soil. The water will force the air out of the soil, cutting off the air supply to the roots and causing them to suffocate. This is irreversible and will result in the death of your new tree. Too much water can therefore be disastrous for your tree.
The amount of water that your new tree needs depends on the time of the year, the weather conditions, the soil type and the tree species. The most water will be needed in mid to late summer; this is the hottest time of the year when the ground water reserves have been used up. A clay or loam soil retains water more effectively than a sandy soil; trees in a sandy soil will therefore need more watering. Some species require more water, while others are highly sensitive to excessively wet soil.
It is impossible, therefore, to squeeze watering into a mathematical table. The best advice is to check your soil regularly during the first two years. It should be slightly moist, not too dry but not too wet.
For thorough, slow and gradual watering we strongly recommend using the Treegator® watering bags. Further information about these can be found at the bottom of this page.
Pruning after plantingWhen a tree is replanted it will inevitably lose some of its roots. This puts the tree out of its natural balance; the water requirement and the nutrients of the leaves are too much for the remaining roots. Even with adequate watering the remaining roots can only absorb some of the water.
During the first year after planting, the tree will try to restore the balance itself. It will do this by producing smaller leaves or shedding some of its leaves in exceptionally hot and dry periods.
To help the tree restore its natural balance as quickly as possible, we recommend pruning back the tree after planting. With this, it is important only to prune one-year old side shoots. Pruning the older, thicker branches or top shoots would affect the shape of the tree, while the formative pruning has already been carried out in the nursery. What's more, the older branches contain the necessary reserves, which the tree needs now more than ever.