Trees are possibly the most important aspect of every garden irrespective of size. They provide privacy and shelter from the elements for the 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 on a regular basis. 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 and continues to do so as the days get longer in the summer.

Select trees with due care and caution to ensure that they are suitable for your local climatic conditions. Furthermore, they need to fulfil specific requirements in terms of size, shape and long-term performance in the context of each individual garden.


  • Good soil preparation and a large planting hole is very important in establishing trees successfully.
  • Dig a square hole (some prefer round) about 3 times as wide and twice the depth of the nursery container the tree 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, fill the empty hole with water first and allow the water to drain away 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, carefully untangle some of the roots without breaking up the root ball.
  • Place the root ball of the tree in the 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 to 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.
  • For further help and advice please contact your nearest Blackwood’s.


  • Trees are used to create shade, privacy and protection.
  • They establish 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.
  • Well wooded gardens attract birds and insects offering them a complex habitat.


  1. Select trees carefully and wisely as they are the most important long-term investment for the garden.
  2. Make sure that trees are healthy with strong, stout stems and no visible damage to the bark, especially on the main stem.
  3. Dig large planting holes and fill with ample compost enriched topsoil. Add root stimulating fertiliser.
  4. Stake newly planted trees to prevent wind and weather damage.
  5. Water regularly (every 4 to 6 days) until trees are well established.


  • Tools for digging and preparing soil for planting.
  • Compost and bone meal for enriching the soil.
  • Selected trees.
  • Suitable surface mulch like coarse pine bark.
  • Hose pipe or watering can.
  • Strong stakes for tying trees.
DISCLAIMER:  The information presented on this website is intended solely as a general guide. We neither endorse specific plant varieties over others nor claim expertise in stock performance. All information is believed to be accurate, based on private inquiries and experiences, and is provided in good faith. Blackwood’s, including its employees, disclaims any responsibility for harm, loss, cost, or damage arising from the use or reliance upon any information on this website, especially if any part of the information proves to be inaccurate or incomplete. Please note that the displayed photos are not representative of current stock but are used for illustrative purposes only.