WATERING 

After planting, create a crater of soil above the root ball, roughly 15cm tall and slightly narrower than the root ball circumference. This will help funnel water into the root ball, without it the water would simply seep into the surrounding soil.

In the first few years after planting, trees must be watered.  Ensure that the root ball does not dry out and please keep in mind that a tree may need to be watered regularly, even when the weather is damp.  If there is a long dry spell, trees whose roots grow slowly may dry out even in the third or fourth year after planting.

PREPARING THE PLANTING HOLE

Ideally the planting hole should be at least 1.5 times the diameter and no deeper than the root ball or container, to give the plant a perfect start in the new and final location. 

When digging the hole keep the top soil and sub soil separate so that they can be replaced accordingly.  

Remove any material from the hole which may stop root growth and loosen the bottom and sides of the hole to make it easier for the roots to establish; this is especially important in heavy soils.

PLANTING THE TREE

Lower the root ball into the planting hole.  The loose soil in the base of the hole will gradually settle so it is very important that the root ball is not planted too deep. Lay a plank over the hole to show the soil level across the tree pit. Ideally, the top of the root ball should be raised at least 5cm above the level of the soil.  

Backfill the hole and firm down the soil.   If possible, do not reuse compacted or poor-quality soil in the hole.  Instead replace it with a high-quality plant substrate, such as compost which is available for sale from the nursery.  Fertilisers, such as Osmocote, can be added to the planting hole.

ANCHORING

The anchoring of a freshly planted tree can be as important as ensuring it has been planted properly. The new roots have to be able to develop undisturbed, therefore movements due to wind which can affect the roots as well, must be limited. If the trees roots cannot establish, the tree will not grow.

Various types of anchoring systems are available depending on the size and weight of the tree.  Traditional anchoring systems like double staking have always been and continue to be extremely successful.  If you choose to stake the trees, it is important to use a broad binding that will not strangle the tree. Please remember that the tree stem will thicken in the second year and the binding will therefore have to expand with the stem.