Don’t let summer heat stop you from planting out trees and shrubs, say Michelle Wheeler

1) When planting in grass, first strip off the turf, in a circle radiating out 20in (50cm) from the central position of where the tree or shrub is to be sited.

2) Dig the hole, making it the same depth as the container the plant is growing in. Pour water into the bottom of the hole (remember it’s summer).

3) To help the roots establish, sprinkle mycorrhizal fungi into the hole. Some shrubs are best not treated with the fungi, so always check the packet.

4) Now replace the soil taken from the hole, and use your foot to firm it around the rootball . Ensure there is  good contact between roots and soil.

5) Water it in well. Being summer, the winds are drying, and moisture evaporates readily. Give the equivalent of 2-3 watering cans every other day.

Top planting tips

  • With container trees and shrubs, ensure all weeds are removed from the compost in the pot before planting.
  • While trees are establishing keep grass (which uses water and nutrients) from the base.
  • The biggest cause of tree death is planting too deeply. Never plant deeper than the level it was in the container.
  • Never buy a tree or shrub where there are signs of pests and diseases, or bark wounds.
  • Spend time preparing the planting hole. Do not plant in the hot afternoon sun, and if possible plant after rain.
  • If the tree is over 6ft (2m), place a tree stake at a 45° angle low down, to encourage the trunk to flex. Then secure the tree to the stake with a tie.