It may seem easy however because it is the first step that define the right development of our plants, it is advisable to analyse this stage in great detail.

First of all we have to dig the planting pit. The pit should be at least double the size of the soil ball of the tree. Triple size makes it even better. In terms of the pit depth, it must be 10 cm deeper that the tree soil ball, not more! At the bottom of the pit it is advisable to place as much peat as we can grab with our both hands. This step is optional, however in this way we foster our root system to develop easier and faster.

Afterwards, we remove the tree from the bag or the pot where is placed. In the case where the tree is planted in a pot we hit slightly the rear of the pot until the tree is removed. If the roots of the tree are extended outside the pot it is advisable to cut the pot as not to injure the root system. The case of the bag is much easier, as we cut it with scissors and just remove it. Special care should be given though to the fact that the soil ball must remain a mass and don’t break up. And one tip. The tree must NOT be watered throughout this process, as this increase the possibilities the soil to dissolve. It is better to have the tree watered from the previous night and ensure that is dry when we start the plantation.

After we remove the bag/pot we can place the tree in the pit. Make sure that you have it placed in a way that its trunk is as straight as possible; even if that means that the soil ball is placed diagonally. Subsequently we fill the pit with soil from the rear. It doesn’t need a particular pressure as the soil must remain fluffy so that the root system develops easier.

The next step is to place the support. The support that we choose can be timber pole, metal rod or even galvanized tube. It is very important the support to be placed on the fresh soil that has filled the rear of the pit and not on the soil ball, as this will injure the tree’s root system. After we place the support, we tie the trunk of the tree on to it using either common twine or even better a special rubber string which is elastic to prevent any wear injuries at the tree. If you use common twine, wrap the trunk with a piece of cloth at the point that is tied to prevent any injuries. Special care must be given while tying the trunk. It must not be too tight because this will cause future injuries.

Finally, we must water the tree that we just planted. It is very important to water properly the tree, as this will ensure its proper development. The first days the tree must be watered frequently with large quantities of water. After the root system starts developing we can decrease the watering frequency. You should know if the tree soil ball broke during the plantation process as well as make sure that you water the new tree properly otherwise there is a chance not to develop properly. The watering frequency is a topic that troubles a lot of people and it is the topic that we will explore in our next article…..     


Thomas Kakogiannakis
Agriculturist, AUA