If the soil is poor, it’s best to improve it with organic matter before planting a tree that requires fertile soil.
When planting your tree, we recommend adding a few spadefuls of organic matter with the backfill soil. The tree planting compost we supply is ideal as it contains a slow release fertiliser which will feed the tree for the next 9-12 months.
After the first year, you can apply a top dressing of fertiliser in late winter or early spring to help your trees along. Fertilisers are available from garden centres and DIY shops. Sprinkle the fertiliser around the rooting area and fork in to the soil, or apply as directed on the packet.
Mulching with wood chip or bulky organic matter (eg well-rotted manure or garden compost) helps to conserve moisture and discourage weeds. Apply mulch about 7cm thick around the base of the tree in a metre diameter circle, ideally in mid to late spring and again in autumn. It’s best if this is done on soil that is already moist.
Established trees don’t usually need feeding, but if new shoots are sluggish (less than 10cm over the growing season) or the foliage paler than expected, then you might want to consider an application.
Once the tree is mature, growth will slow down, so feed is only recommended to remedy nutrient deficiency.