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After Planting

Advice on how to protect your trees and hedging, including stakes & ties, weed control and guards

After Planting Care

Tree protection is essential to planning your planting scheme as it will protect your investment and ensure its future. You may be looking to protect your trees and hedging from various factors, including wild animals, stock, people or wind. The type of factors involved will affect the kind of protection you choose. The other major factor to be considered is the protection of your plants from surrounding weeds, as they will significantly impact a young plant's ability to grow and thrive.


Weed Control

Reasonable weed control is very beneficial in the first two years, after which your trees will shade out any competition. Weeds and grass will slow your trees considerably if allowed to compete in the early stages. Ideally, we recommend maintaining a weed-free area of 90cm in diameter around each tree. 

Weeds can be controlled using natural mulch, such as compost or rotted manure, leaf mould or grass clippings, or manufactured matting, either in a single square for individual trees or as a strip suitable for hedging. The mulch will keep the sun off the soil, trap the weeds, and trap moisture in the soil. Whilst this isn't a replacement for watering the new plants, it can mean it needs to be done slightly less often.

Careful use of contact or selective residual herbicides can also be effective.

Tree Protection

There are various types of tree protection available, and the choice will depend upon the nature of the expected threat. Some protection will be able to save the plant against several different problems.

Spiral Guards

With our willow and poplar, the main form of protection required is against rabbits and small vermin. The transparent spiral guard sits around the young tree and prevents rabbits and voles from stripping the bark. It is usually easiest to fit the guard around the tree's stem once planted and then if required, push a bamboo cane down through the guard and into the ground to provide additional support. A bamboo cane is not needed to support the guards if the tree is over 90cm (3 ft) tall.


Shelter Guards

You might consider a tree or shrub shelter guard if you are protecting your plants from something larger than a rabbit. As well as protecting local wildlife, they will also provide the plant with a unique microclimate to help boost the early stages of growth whilst also protecting any localised spraying of herbicides.

It is advisable to water the cuttings and rooted stock in periods of dry and hot weather to enable the roots to form.

A light dressing of fertiliser in the second year will boost growth further - but do not overdo it.

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