6th November 2023

Tree Planting Techniques and Best Practices for Large Projects

The act of planting a tree may seem simple, but when it comes to large-scale tree planting projects, the process becomes more complex and demanding. These projects are vital for reforestation, environmental restoration, and mitigating climate change. To ensure the success of these endeavours, it's crucial to follow tree planting techniques and best practices that optimise tree growth, survival, and overall project effectiveness. In this blog, we'll delve into the key techniques and practices essential for large tree planting projects.

1. Site Selection and Preparation

Before planting, thorough site assessment is essential. Ensure that the selected area has the right soil type, drainage, and sunlight conditions for the chosen tree species. Clear any competing vegetation and prepare the ground adequately.

2. Tree Selection

The choice of tree species is critical. Consider native species that are well-suited to the local environment. The selected species should also align with the project's objectives, whether it's for timber production, wildlife habitat, or carbon sequestration.

3. Planting Season

Timing is crucial. Planting during the dormant season (typically late autumn or early spring) when trees are not actively growing can enhance their chances of survival

4. Tree Quality

 When sourcing tree seedlings, ensure they are of high quality. Look for healthy, well-formed seedlings with strong roots. This is fundamental for successful establishment. Aim to only work with FSC and Plant Healthy certified products.

5. Planting Techniques

Proper planting techniques are the backbone of large-scale projects. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Digging Holes: Dig holes that are deep enough to accommodate the roots without bending or crowding them. The hole should be wide enough to comfortably accommodate the root system without cramping it.

Handling Roots: Handle tree seedlings with care. Do not let the roots dry out, and plant them at the same depth they were in the nursery.

Watering: Adequate watering is crucial. Immediately after planting, provide enough water to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets around the roots.

Mulching: Apply mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

6. Tree protection

Tree protection is a crucial aspect of sustainable land management, and an innovative method that has gained traction involves the use of biodegradable tubes and fencing. These environmentally friendly solutions offer an additional layer of defence for young saplings and seedlings against both environmental elements and interference from livestock. Biodegradable tubes, typically crafted from materials like cardboard or rice straw, shield the delicate trees from harsh weather conditions, herbivorous animals, and pests, enabling them to establish their roots and grow more robustly. Simultaneously, biodegradable fencing, often woven from organic materials, serves as a barrier that deters livestock from encroaching on these vulnerable plants.

7. Maintenance and Monitoring

Regular maintenance is key to success. Monitor the planted area to ensure proper growth, control weeds, and provide irrigation when necessary. Protection from pests and diseases is also vital.

Watering is also a key part of the constant maintenance and monitoring of your trees, especially in areas known for drought and/or tricky climates.

8. Documentation and Evaluation

Keep detailed records of the planting process, including the number of trees planted, species, and growth data. Regular evaluations can help assess the project's success and identify areas for improvement.

Large-scale tree planting projects are a vital part of global efforts to combat deforestation and climate change. By following the best practices and techniques outlined above, we can increase the likelihood of successful tree establishment, habitat restoration, and carbon sequestration. 

ATM has over 40 years’ experience of large-scale planting projects, planting over 2 million trees in the process. Contact our expert team today to discuss your requirements.