How to plant and care for mature trees

If you don’t want to wait for seeds to grow in your garden, a fully matured tree is a great way to make an instant impact. The re-planting process is easy, but it’s important to know what you’re doing to minimise stress on the tree. Bunnings Greenlife Buyer Katie takes us through the steps to ensure that your mature tree thrives in its new home.

Step 1. Prepare

It’s important to have good soil preparation. You’ll need to create a hole large enough to hold the root ball of the plant. Start by making the hole one-and-a-half times the size of the root ball in the shape of a wok with slanted sides, meaning once the plant is in the ground it will have some loose soil around the root ball for it to be able to begin establishing its roots.

Step 2. Remove

Carefully remove the plant from its pot or bag. To assist your mature plant in establishing a solid root system, it’s often recommended to delicately loosen some of the soil around the existing root ball. Avoid sun exposure to the plant’s root system as much as possible to prevent any root damage. On sunny days, put your body between the plant and sun so your shadow covers it, but it’s best to plant on cool, overcast days.

Step 3. Transplant

Carefully place your tree into the pre-dug hole and begin back filling the soil around the plant. Ensure you do not plant your tree any deeper than it was sitting in its pot, and keep the root ball even with the top of your soil. Be careful not to pile extra soil around its trunk.

Step 4. Water

Once you’ve planted, it’s extremely important that you thoroughly water your tree to settle the soil around its roots. Insufficient water after transplanting is one of the greatest causes of transplant shock. Most plants can’t take in water through their leaves for the next few days, which makes a well-watered soil even more important. It’ll also take a while for the tree to get its roots out into the surrounding soil and establish itself. So, your plant will need consistent watering during this period, especially in warmer weather.

Step 5. Protect

Mulch and stake your new plant to help protect it from the elements. Mulching has many advantages including helping to maintain moisture in the soil, assisting in weed prevention, and helping to regulate soil temperatures. This will assist in limiting the stress on your newly planted tree. Staking of new trees will help stabilise your tree and protect it from any strong wind damage.

Start gardening today

Check out the full range of mature and advanced plants available at your local Bunnings.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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