Tree-growers devote considerable attention to the growing, sorting and
care of their fruit trees. We want our trees to continue to flourish once you
have planted them, and hope that the following tips will help you store, care
for and plant out your trees.
✓ As soon as you take delivery of the trees, water the roots and place the trees in a draught-proof shed to stop them drying out.
✓ If the trees are not going to be planted out immediately, make sure that they are stored in a protected place. Heel them into soil with the graft slightly above soil level so that the roots are not exposed if some soil is washed away by rain.
✓ If there is a moderate to severe frost, place boxes or something similar around the trees awaiting planting to prevent drying out and/or frost damage.
✓ Once you have put the trees in this temporary storage area, spray them with captan to protect any wounds or broken branches from infection.
✓ Protect the area by netting to keep out hares and rabbits, and put down mouse pellets. Check regularly!
✓ Trees that are stored in a shed or cold store must be watered every day and the roots must be covered with a tarpaulin.
✓ The ideal storage temperature is 1-2 °C. Watch out for frost in the shed.
✓ Do not store trees in the same area as fruit (ethylene), and cover the roots of trees kept in a cold store with plastic. Trees kept in cold store appreciate high air humidity. Don’t forget that trees also produce ethylene and CO2. Regular or even continuous ventilation of the store with air drawn in from outside (for example, using a small ventilator.
✓ Moisten the roots at least once a week, preferably twice a week, with a fine mist. The roots must be kept damp (so regularly trim away a few roots).
✓ Soil temperature > 8ºC
✓ Water the roots thoroughly before planting out, or leave them to soak for a few hours.
Advice: Apple-, cherry-, plum trees planted after 1 February will establish better if the roots are left to soak in water for at least 24 hours and at most 48 hours. With pears we advice at least 48 hours and at most 96 hours.
✓ Cover trees in the field that have never been planted with a tarpaulin. (take only as many trees to your plot that you can plant in a few hours).
✓ Trees can dry out very quickly, especially if they are planted in spring.
✓ Firm the trees in well with your feet after you have planted them to ensure good contact between the roots and the soil. If planting late in the season, you should give the trees a good spray (30-40 mm) or watering (3 litres per tree). Check the soil (compost) humidity at very regular intervals. If you are using Watermarks to measure humidity, the suction strength must be between 10 and 25 kPa. Watch out for salt damage when applying artificial fertiliser. The problem is that when the artificial fertiliser is dissolved and applied to the planting hole, and the soil then dries out, this can lead to excessive EC in the planting hole and consequent root burn.
✓ Once you have planted out the trees, spray them with captan to protect any wounds or broken branches from infection.
✓ Trees may need to be watered after planting out in autumn if the weather is dry.
✓ Your trees need a good soil structure and good planting conditions in order to flourish!
✓ They will establish much better, and you will find it much easier to keep the planting hole damp enough, if you mulch the area around the trunk with (mushroom) compost. So always mulch the area around the trunk with 10 to 15 litres of (mushroom) compost per tree after planting.