Gardening expert Reg Kidd says trees are an important part of any garden.
However, particularly in times of drought and water shortages it is vital gardeners pay attention to their trees' welfare.
He said choosing the right tree for the right location is vital, or you may end up having to remove it.
Cr Kidd said trees did not take up a lot of space at ground level, provided shade, beautified your garden and improved the air quality by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
HAVE ENOUGH SPACE
- Identify sufficient space for the tree including allowing for root growth room below the surface
- Select a species that will not outgrow the area you have when it reaches maturity
- Make sure the soil quality matches the requirements of the tree
- Is your soil wet or dry, sandy or clay, acid or alkiline?
- Location is important. Make sure once the tree develops it is not blocking the way, damaging buildings or creating problems for your neighbours
- A dense crown may create dense shade. Look for a tree with space in the crown to allow light to filter through
- Make sure your tree will be able to cope with the local weather and environmental characteristics
- Water is vital for newly-planted trees, especially during dry weather
- Don't water them so much they rely on you
- Provide enough to encourage them to go in search of more water
STAKES AND TIES
- If you stake your tree slacken the tree tie during the year as it tightens
- Remove the stake before the following spring
- Keep an areas about 1.5 metres in diameter around the tree clear of weeds. Remove them by hand or through mulching
- Don't use a whipper-snipper as they can de-bark the tree at the root-collar which will kill them
- Start early, preferably in winter, using secateurs to shape the tree
- You may want to remove a twin leader to prevent the crown from breaking out later or clean up the lower trunk by cutting off any small stems
- This is not necessary during the first year after planting as the mulch will provide the nutrients
- In the second year of the tree's growth start applying an organic fertiliser.
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