Who looks after the trees after they are planted?
If you plant them, you need to look after them! It is especially vital in the first 3 months to check and water your trees once they are planted to ensure they can become established.
If you are coordinating a tree planting site, it is important to also organise regular follow up visits to the planting site. Perhaps you can ask volunteer planters to sign up for follow-up work and organise this on additional insured Tree Day dates (you will need to register these dates in order to secure insurance cover).
Take the opportunity to watch the fruits of your labour grow whilst you weed and water them.
Maintaining The Trees
- Monitor the new plantings for wilting. In sandy or loamy soil, you may need water at least once a week - half a bucket of water or more. In hot weather, water every 2-3 days for the first month until the plants are established.
- In clay soil, water less frequently - once every week to 10 days for the first month.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation.
- Less frequent deep soaking is better than more frequent light watering. A good soak encourages plants to develop strong, deep roots, which eventually reach the watertable. Shallow, light watering encourages roots to grow towards the surface, leaving them vulnerable to wind and dry periods.
- In clay soil, be careful not to overwater. Clay soil traps moisture and too much water will cause roots to rot.
- It is best not to stake plants. Staking can alter growth shape and encourage smaller root systems. When you have to stake a tree, use three stakes and soft material like an old stocking, forming a triangle. Remove the stake as soon as the plant will stand upright on its own.
- Surround the plant with a milk carton with the bottom cut out or a plastic guard held in place by 3 small stakes. This will create a humid atmosphere around the plant.
You have done so much work and made such a contribution to Australia's precious environment, don't let it go to waste!