Tree planting. What a pleasure it is to plant trees for a job. There a Chinese proverb that the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is now; so let us get cracking.

We specialise in planting semi mature and specimen trees. Which can help to make up for not having planted them 30 years ago.

Tree Selection

The first thing to evaluate when choosing which trees to plant is where the trees are to be planted is the soil type – Clay, Loam, Sandy soil or what we have around here in The Cotswolds; a thin layer of topsoil over Cotswold Brash. For those not familiar with this it is the stony clay mix you get under the topsoil before hitting the limestone. The limestone is used in building construction and traditionally drystone walling to keep the sheep in. It gives the area its coffee table book look.

Once the soil has been assessed of equal importance is the moisture content of the soil. For example- Is the soil wet in the winter, particularly dry in the summer and which trees will best suit this moisture content. Next is the exposure – how windy or sheltered the garden is. This, I think, is the most underrated part tree selection and site analysis. It is also hard to quantify – where soil can be analysed into numbers; how windy a site is, is much more about experience, reading the landscape and understanding the local area and than understanding the trees and how much wind they can tolerate.

Avenue of trees planted by Emotive Landscapes in 2020
Acer palmatum - a great tree for the Cotswolds climate, but they do not enjoy a windy position

In the Cotswolds the exposure of a site and the trees suitable can completely change drastically in a very short distance. A garden on top of the hill and the edge of a village could be extremely windy, suitable selections might be Hawthorns, Hornbeams, Limes and Field maples. Then less than a mile away tucking in the valley of the village surrounded by mature trees it could be very sheltered and Cornus, Japanese maples and Magnolias might be more suitable.

Acer palmatum: In the windy garden on the edge of the village we couldn’t plant Japanese maples, they don’t mind the type of soil too much but can’t tolerate wind. In the mature garden in the village we would choose and plant the very best Acer palmatum. Enjoying their delicate winter structure, energising new foliage in spring, cooling summer effect and firework display of autumn colour.

Tree Supplier Selection

So, now we have chosen the appropriate trees for our clients’ garden, now we need to choose good quality specimens. Over the years we have invested significant time and energy visiting nurseries in the UK and Northern Europe to find the best nurseries, develop relationships with these growers and get a better understanding of how the nursery man grows his trees so we can better transplant and look after them.

Sourcing the right trees for planting is important for the Emotive Landscapes team
Tree nursery where Emotive Landscapes sources our trees for planting
Pleached trees ready for planting, supplied by Emotive Landscapes

Planting the Tree

The single most important technical element of planting a tree, no matter how big or small, is to plant the top of the rootball or pot at the same level as the soil it will live in.

Do not bury any of the trunk. Roots below ground, trunk above ground.

Guy Jones, MD of Emotive Landscapes demonstrates how to plant your tree in this helpful video.

Tree Aftercare

The second most important element of tree planting is aftercare.

  1. Watering in the first 2-3 years after planting – 50ltrs per week during the growing season is a good guide.
  2. Keeping the area around the trunk weed free – it might look small and innocent but grass and other weeds really slow down a young trees growth. It is vital to maintain weed free soil surrounding the trunk of establishing trees.
  3. Do not strim or bash the trunk with a mower. The living part of the trunk is on the outside if you bash it these cells cant take water and nutrients from the roots to the trunk.

Once established the right tree in the right place is a benefit to us, nature and the wider environment. It is simple to choose and plant the right tree but this knowledge is not common place. So please ask us to help you get it right and make everything better.

See the Emotive Landscape team at work…

Tree planting with Emotive Landscapes MD, Guy Jones
The Emotive Landscapes team showing some care after planting this tree

Do you have a similar project you’d like us to work on? Please contact us.

07754 661 455
01242 863 861
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Please contact us if you would like us to look at transforming your outdoor space.

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