Instant Tree Nursery Frequently Asked Questions
How should I transport my mature tree?
To save money, we recommend you transport your new mature tree home from our nursery with a car, ute or trailer. Alternatively, we can organise a courier or a landscape specialist to deliver and plant your purchase.
How do I stake my mature tree?
We recommend that your tree should be staked; however, speak to us when purchasing your new tree for specific information. Stakes should be driven into the ground outside the line of the root ball. If your tree trunk needs to be stabilised by the stakes, make sure you tie the stake loosely to allow slight trunk movement; this is important to stimulate calliper growth and to allow for correct trunk taper. Make sure that you check the tree regularly to ensure that the ties are not too tight or causing friction against the tree.
If you’ve transported a large tree with a large, dense canopy, it may require staking until all roots can grow sufficiently to anchor it. Please be aware that even slight movement can break the new fibrous roots, slowing down the establishment of the tree.
Generally speaking, most trees may require staking for approximately one year. The size of your tree will depend on the number of stakes required, but usually, two to three stakes are sufficient. Staking should only take place while the tree is becoming established. The tree must not be dependent on the stake for support, which is why the stakes should eventually be removed so that the tree can gain adequate strength.
How often should I water my newly planted tree?
Your newly planted tree will need to be regularly watered. Ideally, a method known as “slow deep watering” is the best way of supplying water to the roots. Alternatively, you can set a sprinkler to the area, so long as the water won’t run away. The best way to see if the water is penetrating is to check the soil. Stick your finger in the soil, and if it is dry 1.5 cm below the surface, you’ll need to water for longer.
Every tree needs different amounts of water depending on your environment, time of year, soil type and so on. Talk to us for the best advice on watering your plants.
Can I tell if I have watered my tree too much?
Water a tree too much and the leaves will turn brown and are likely to die and fall off. However, watering too little can also make the tree present the same way. An under watered tree has leaves that will wilt, with tips that wither and brown (and look dry and crunchy). If you feel that you have been overwatering your tree and the leaves are doing the above, it’s time to pull back on watering. Check the soil by feeling about 5 cm down from the surface. If it is wet and you haven’t watered recently, it is time to reduce the amount of watering and make sure that adequate drainage can take place.
Should I mulch my newly planted mature tree?
Yes, we recommend mulching the ground around your newly planted mature tree. Ideally, you should mulch to a depth of around 10 cm from the base of the tree to the far edge of the drip line of the ‘canopy’ of your tree. Mulching will help with soil temperature, keeping it warmer in winter and cooler in summer, provide a better environment for root growth, inhibit weed growth and most importantly – reduce water evaporation.
Tip: when applying mulch, avoid mulching right up to the trunk of the tree as this may cause trunk rot.
What about fertilisers?
Generally speaking, mature trees will receive little benefit from immediate fertilisation unless they are put in nutrient deficient soils. It is usually best to wait several months or even up to a year before fertilising. Contact us for specific advice about your situation.
Almost all trees will need to be fertilised unless they grow in their natural habitat and have a rich supply of nutrients and waste matter naturally enriching the soil. All tree types have different requirements. For example, trees that come from a nutrient-rich environment will need a lot of nutrients added to grow happily. Tough, hardy coastal trees will require less nutritional support.
Trees also need to be fertilised because, over time, they will use up all the goodness in the surrounding soil. Other trees, such as fruit trees, are bred to be very productive, pushing out fruit, and require extra nutrients.
Using a fertiliser high in nitrogen over the mulch areas may help reduce nitrogen loss caused by microorganisms breaking down the organic mulch.
Fertilisers are categorised as either organic or inorganic.
The three major ingredients in plant food are:
- Nitrogen (N) – for leaf growth
- Phosphorus (P) – for development of roots, seeds, flowers or fruit, and
- Potassium (K) – for strong stems and to help promote flowering and fruiting.
Inorganic fertilisers usually come in a combination, known as N.P.K. mixtures, along with certain trace elements and secondary nutrients. The ratio of these formulas vary, depending on whether they are for trees, pot plants, native shrubs and so on.
Organic fertilisers include animal and vegetable by-products (e.g. blood and bone) manures (e.g. cow manure). Organic fertilisers have smaller amounts of the major plant foods, so they needed to be added to the soil in larger quantities. However, they have an added advantage of being filled with fibrous material that helps with improving soil structure, texture and protection. As organic matter has to be broken down by bacteria naturally, they release the nutrients slowly, over a longer period.
- It is likely that you will not need to fertilise your mature tree when planting
- Consult with our team if you are not sure of the amount or type of fertiliser required
- Applying fertiliser little and often is preferable to large, irregular doses.
What’s the best time for planting a tree?
When you purchase a tree from Instant Tree Nursery, it already has a well-established root ball and is independent. It will come in a pot that is relatively small compared with its canopy size, yet it still thrives. Therefore, the time that you plant a tree is not so important. As long as you stake your tree and water it regularly, you’re on your way to success.
Many people want to know, “How long till I have to stop worrying about my new tree?”
Trees require water, so if the tree has access to a natural source of water or reticulation, it will survive. Over time, the tree’ s root system will develop, allowing it to source water more effectively than when it is newly planted.
In today’s age of irrigation, we can artificially simulate winter with the benefits of the warmth of the summer sun. Therefore, there is no need to worry about the weather or when is the best time to plant a tree. Whether it’s winter, summer, autumn or spring, the real question is, ‘when are you ready to plant your new tree?’
When should I be pruning my tree?
At Instant Tree Nursery, we take care to prune all our trees so they grow in a healthy and attractive shape. However, in time, all trees need to be pruned.
If, at any time, you see unhealthy or damaged branches or branches that have died, you should remove them immediately. Generally speaking, though, the best times to prune your trees are in late winter or early spring. This is a time where the tree will start to shoot or open its buds.
Trees that flower in mid to late summer should ideally be pruned in midwinter or the beginning of spring.
Should I protect against pests and diseases?
Fortunately, most trees will require little pest or disease control. However, this will depend on the type of tree you have in your garden. Fruit trees have their set of issues though and require more attention to this matter. If you have a large infestation of pests or a chronic problem with disease emerging, it’s best to talk to a professional about this to address the problem.
Problems with tree infestations fall into two main categories: insect pests, and plant diseases. Insect pests include caterpillars, mites, aphids, beetles and grubs. They need to be treated with pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides usually control plant diseases. However, diseases may be either fungal or bacterial in nature.
Have another question?
Contact Instant Tree Nursery today on 0499 772 575.