Gardening Trees In An Instant
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Published by TOP4 Team
Quick results are every gardener’s dream, but what do you do when you need a large tree in a hurry? Look for a tree nursery that specialises in supplying ‘teenage’ trees, of course.
Buying an advanced or semi-mature tree means you don’t have to wait for a sampling to grow. You get instant shade and a great head start on that green and leafy canopy you’re after. Of course, all these benefits don’t come cheaply, and you also need to factor in the cost of delivery. But for special situations, such as quickly greening up a bare yard, or replacing an old tree that’s come to grief, an advanced specimen can be a great investment.
Buying a ready-grown tree
Advanced-tree nurseries specialise in stock 10-15 years old, usually grown in large black plastic grow-bags. The tree heights vary according to the species and age, but trees of 3-4 metres are ideal for home garden use. Much taller specimens are available, too, but these can cost several thousand dollars and are more commonly used in large civic landscaping projects, such as parks or housing developments.
Before you head off to the nursery, draw a rough sketch of your garden, showing the position of the house. This will help the nursery attendant to advise you on the best size and shape of tree for your situation.
When you’re choosing a tree at the nursery:
- Check the foliage to make sure it’s green and healthy.
- Inspect the trunk to ensure it’s straight and without wounds.
- Pull away the side of the plastic growing bag and inspect the root ball to make sure it isn’t pot-bound.
Check that the nursery can deliver to your home - transporting advanced trees can be quite tricky.
As well as growing large trees, advanced-tree nurseries will often remove mature specimens from existing gardens and then resell them ‘second-hand’. Not all trees are suitable for removal, but when you’re demolishing or extending, it may be worth finding out if you’ve got a specimen you can sell.
Planting a mature tree
An advanced tree needs a planting hole around twice the size of the root ball. To plant where an old tree has been removed, you’ll first need to get the stump ground out (most tree-lopping companies provide this service). Then you’ll need to dig out as many of the old roots as possible. They strip the soil of nitrogen when they decompose, and that means there’s less available for your new tree.