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tree planting – what, when, how – now

tree planting

tree planting

Tree planting season has just about arrived. This doesn’t mean you can’t plant trees, it just means, like giving presents to your neighbours, there is a main season for it. Like tree planting, you can of course do this any time you like. However unlike Christmas, at this time of year it can be a little more cost effective, especially in commercial projects.

When planning for any tree planting, preparation is the golden. If you’re one of my four Sisters however and you can still bully me into doing your homework for you or like my three brothers you read a book and you can rewrite Darwinsblogs are for I suppose. theories over coffee the next morning, that’s absolutely fine [get it wrong and then ask my sister to bully me for you]. If you are none of the above… then that’s what

Whatever my sense of humour, trees are always in fashion and like The Rolling Stones at Slane Castle – always a classic, never dated, look better in the rain and I like it, like it yes I do.

Why should you buy one: Not only is a tree cheaper than that butter dish of a wedding present or those socks for your Fathers birthday, it also lasts longer and shouldn’t fit in the bin!

Trees are good for the planet. They recycle our air, block out those buildingswildlife into your garden. [neighbours] you don’t particularly like and encourage

Eventual height is so important. People often tell me that a cheaper fast growing tree is better and than they will keep maintained at a certain height. The problem for you is that the roots will wish to support a fully grown tree. A well chosen, slow growing tree bought in at the specific required height is a lot better and easier. It may be a little more costly at the start but in an era of low maintenance, little or no attention will be required.

The site. Your proposed tree planting site may have overhead cables, be too near construction [restricting the roots or damaging structures] or hinder existing plant growth. The overall character of the tree at all times must be considered at all times.

What do you actually want the tree to do? You may want to encourage wildlife, it may be privacy or even a windbreak. and whilst the tree may look really elegant in that book – it may not actually wish to grow where it is put.

What does the tree want? Mother Nature has a contract with these woody perennials and some can be quite fussy. Although they won’t actually say it, the plant will eventually tell you that it doesn’t want to live there. Apart from structural hindrances to your tree[s] do consider climatic conditions and the requirements for the growth of any plant.

Moving to a new home, for any human [and trees!] can be somewhat stressful. You should protect your tree from breaks, bruising and skin tears when transporting.

Wrap them up well with heshion sacking [old potatoe seed bags] around the main lifting area and carefully tie up the main head and branches.

Keep the roots moist [don’t drown them] in a sand pits or loose soil and in a shady, calm area until ready for planting.

Before planting your tree, as best as possible remove all existing growth from the area surrounding your tree-pit. You should dig approximately twice the width and depth of the root zone. Some soil will need to be backfilled but this will make easier for root penetration. Prepared properly, the roots will go with gravity – if not the roots may turn and force the tree to shift upwards. Poor preparation can usually be seen were the roots of old trees pass over the lawn surface of your lawn. With the scion, the point between the roots and the actual stem, level with true ground level all soil can be backfilled. This will require a good stamping down to eliminate any air pockets which may later fill with water whilst also preventing the tree from movement within its pit. Don’t allow your new investment to dehydrate and during planting give the tree a spoon of sugar to make it like you a little more. Bone meal used to be applied until some time ago but [due to modern constraints and modern science] it is better to use a slow release fertilizer.

Even vegans like tree stakes. A little support in the form of a tree stake, a strap, tie and buckle will prove so beneficial in preventing the tree in its infancy from growing askew. It should be horizontal to the ground and some added careful select pruning will prevent it ending up more like a lanky and unkempt bush. Train them well in the early days and the dividends will pay off.

Rootballed and Bare-root trees are mostly field grown trees grown for the commercial market. Due to the fact that one should wait until the roots are dormant, the task is therefore seasonal and naturally dependant an autumn/ winter temperature drop. For most varieties, these types of grown trees are usually less expensive than buying main season potted trees. Public demands, modern trends and specialisation in the tree growing now allows one to have any size, age or maturity and type of tree almost instantly.

Remember, enjoy your garden and love what you do. Your trees will appreciate it.

never had your garden ‘designed’ before

Here’s a piece I wrote some time ago. Recently we have had a wave enquiries where people feel that not paying for a design is saving money. That’s perfectly fine but as long as you take the correct free advice and from the correct people.

We have designed anything from 17th century five acre gardens to the most modern and futuristic of advanced and out of place designs – and built them. We have also on the other hand designed and built gardens that dont cost the earth but do look really good.

The second piece of advice is to take the correct advice. So should one pay for a consultation charge? The answer is of course if you feel you should and naturally if you will get something valuable and worthwhile for your cudos. If you do decide to get a garden designed and/ or built for either sixty five euro or sixty five thousand euro remember the numbers at the bottom of the page of the invoice is what it actually costs and you gotta pay that amount [I’ll get back to that later]. In the meantime – enjoy the article.

peter

You want to get the garden designed. You have already tried and after spending the entire lottery, it still looks humorous. The sun is shining. The neighbours have just started their barbeque. You own a jungle. Where do you start?

On the cheap: Measure up the garden. You don’t need a measuring tape or trunnel wheel. One large pace equals one metre approximately and one of your feet is one foot (you’ll have a rough idea). Drop down to the local garden centre and with sketch in hand ask all the questions you can. Its better to go on a Monday when it’s quiet. Always give an idea of the theme you want in the garden, don’t tell them I want this and one of them etc.(if you say water feature and it may not ever have looked good in your back yard – the friendly people who were going to give you advice are now on commission and your stuck with a gift for your sister.) Remember you don’t have to purchase on that day. Call the offices of a professional landscapers/ designers association. They’ll put you in touch with somebody in your area. Generally you can get advice (free) over the phone. They don’t have to call out.

  • Pay a little: Call a landscape contractor of reputation. They may charge for call outs/ consultation charges, but this is a very wise investment (even if the Father-in-law and Jimmy’s brother/ cousin/ sister are all expert green fingers). Decide on the basics with your family first. Do you need?
  • A shed – what size and type? Brick or timber?
  • A washing/ clothes line – Rotary/ retractable/ or one for the local football team?
  • A barbeque – built in or moveable? Gas or coal? Consider the neighbours and the clothes line!
  • Kiddies play area – Swings, slides and pits? sand or bark mulch? Moveable or resident? In my opinion it is better to put these ‘built in’ in one area – this can be adapted/ changed to suit your investment/ garden at a later date. ie. when the little ones mature.
  • Lights – how many? Security and/ or decorative? Sunken or above ground level? Remember low budget/ plastic looks better below ground and you’ll still see the light.
  • Outdoor electricity points/ plugs – where? Always get a double and get the two done together.
  • Outdoor tap/ water source – where? Both of the above mean the contractors don’t need to traffic over your new flooring and you don’t have to be there shedding tears at the state of the place halfway through the job.
  • Table and chairs area – Just for two or the entire Partridge family? Decide on whether it goes to full sun or shade. Please, pick/ measure the dining set you want first and allow 1.5 metres off the back of each chair. This means you only get the size of patio required and the stonemason doesn’t retire on your entire garden budget. (It also stops Nanna falling into the new rose bush when she pushes her chair away to get up from the table.)
  • Raised timber structure/ Patio – take the advice of your consultant and ensure it fits into your overall theme.
  • Green waste area – they can be ‘off in scent’ but they are in todays genre a must.

Ask for a rough ‘outline overview sketch’ of what the garden will look like – on headed paper – this will save you the cost of a full design service. Assuming it’s not a requirement of planning, this should, with a little vision and trust on your part, suffice. Again give a general themed idea of what you would like.

Pay a little/ lot more:Call a registered landscape designer. They usually charge for call outs/ consultations. They will charge for their design and also a percentage fee to oversee their design. This will be a very detailed design with a planting plan you may not understand ever and may come complete with a visual impression of what you can expect to see. Your garden designer will ensure you don’t need to do any of the above. Ensure your requirements are met so as not to result with your designers very own memorial playground. Let them know how much time and what gardening tasks you are willing to spend/ do in the garden (be honest and realistic!). Find out what contractor will carry out the necessary works and as important if they will do the after care/ maintenance. Get an estimate of cost on the landscaping of this wonderful design before you pay for the actual drawings. This ensures you don’t end up with a very expensive piece of paper that will never become a creation.

Remember:

  • Know your budget limit but be realistic.
  • Agree all prices before your contract starts.
  • Stonework requires dry weather and plants/ lawns need water.
  • Don’t pay for contractors tools to sit in their shed on ‘down time’ and don’t end up paying a contractor to water you plants
  • You don’t have to do it all at once.
  • Gardens can be phased in over a period of time. It may take a little longer but you will get that dream.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different
  • Quality products cost more and cheap can be often tearful rather than cheerful.

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Peter Donegan, Landscaping Garden Design Awards, Ireland

donegan, landscaping dublin, garden awards

Peter Donegan MI Hort and Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd won its first award from the Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland in October 2006.

The Award of Merit in best private garden category (over €13.000) was awarded to Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd as contractor and Peter Donegan MI Hort as designer of the fifty-five acre private garden set on the estuary of Donabate in North County Dublin.

It had taken two years to reconstruct the one famous eighteenth century gardens of Newport Farm. Donegan Landscaping was only one of thirteen companies in Ireland to receive award in 2006.