Trees are an important aspect of every garden irrespective of size. They provide privacy and shelter from the elements for properties and their inhabitants. Trees also serve as nature’s air conditioning by reducing temperatures in summer and trapping warm air in winter thus protecting smaller plants in the garden. Evergreen trees shed leaves through most of the growing season. As new leaves appear so the older ones are shed regularly. 

Deciduous trees on the other hand lose all their leaves in a few short weeks during autumn.The bare branches allow much needed winter sunshine to filter through. When new spring growth emerges the shade factor increases as the days get longer. Select trees with due care and caution to ensure that they are suitable for local climatic conditions. Furthermore they need to fulfil specific requirements in terms of size, shape and long term performance.  


– Good soil preparation and a large planting hole is very important in establishing trees efficiently
– Dig a square hole (some prefer round) about 3 times as wide and twice the depth of the nursery container the shrub is growing in
– Keep two thirds of the top soil to one side and add compost equal to one third of the volume to the soil along with bone meal or superphosphate at the recommended rate
– Mix all these ingredients together thoroughly before filling the hole
– If the soil is dry then fill empty hole with water first and allow to drain before returning the soil mixture
– Firm down the soil before digging a small hole in the centre to fit the root ball of the tree
– Carefully remove nursery container
– If the roots are full and matted together then carefully untangle some of the roots without breaking up the root ball
– Place root ball of tree in planting hole making sure that the top is at the same level as the surrounding ground (do not bury too deeply as this causes collar rot)
– Fill in around the root ball and firm soil down gently
– Form an irrigation basin around the newly planted tree to facilitate efficient watering
– Once planting is complete water well to settle in and continue regular watering until the tree is established


– Immediately after planting tie the tree to a stout stake to prevent wind damage
– Apply a layer of mulch around the tree to keep the roots cool and repel weeds
– Regular fertilising with a balanced granular fertiliser (5:1:5 formula is ideal) every 6 to 8 weeks ensure healthy growth through the growing season
– Lower branches may need to cut off (feathered) to maintain a clean trunk
– Prune back any weak or lanky growth that may distort the shape and balance of the tree


– Aphids gather on the soft new growth tips and suck the sap out of the plant – control with a general insecticide
– Caterpillars, beetles and grasshoppers chew the leaves – treat with a systemic insecticide (only suitable for use on non-edibles)
– Red spider mites are a problem on some plants in summer – use a suitable miticide
– Fungal diseases like mildew and rust on the leaves – spray with a broad spectrum fungicide


– Trees are used to create shade, privacy and protection
– They create a feeling of maturity to the garden
– Certain trees make excellent container specimens in large pots
– Trees are used for windbreaks and boundary plantings
– Tree lined avenues are popular on large estates
– Trees are invaluable on farms offering protection and shelter to livestock


– Select trees carefully and wisely as they are a long term investment for the garden
– Make sure that trees are healthy with strong stout stems and no visible damage to the bark
– Dig large planting holes and fill with ample compost enriched topsoil ad root stimulating fertiliser
– Stake newly planted trees to prevent wind and weather damage
– Water regularly until trees are well established