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Trees are the bones of your garden

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The basis of garden design is to first create the structure or bones of the garden which then allows the rest of the garden to flow from there.  Trees can be regarded as the bones of your garden because they are the framework, creating shelter from wind and noise, create focal, or feature points in the garden and form the basis of the garden theme.

You may wish to have a formal garden, structured with layers from lawn to the trees.  The backdrop of this garden will be the feature trees that frame the garden area.  Alternatively, an informal garden will be designed with focal points and the balance of planting radiating from there.  A New Zealand garden is an example of this design.

Talk to your local tree nursery about suitable trees for each type of garden design and in particular the garden design you want to achieve.  A good example of a formal garden design is the pleached hedge which is generally the backdrop to lower planting.  A pleached hedge is essentially a "hedge on sticks".  The sticks being the tree stem with a clipped canopy above.  Hornbeam, Portugeuse laurel, Bay laurel, Evergreen Magnolia and many other trees are used for pleaching.

If having a landscape architect design your garden make sure he or she is aware of your design requirements and also ensure they match trees to your section size, design requirements and location of trees on your property.

New Subdivision planting

Saturday, March 14, 2015

With the increased building activity in Christchurch in new subdivisions it is very important for property owners who would like to create a nice garden to prepare the garden areas before planting.

The reason for this is that when developed new subdivisions have achieve a level of soil/land compaction to satisfy building foundation requirements.  Compaction is undertaken over the whole subdivision which means garden areas are included.  This compacted soil makes it difficult for trees and shrubs to get established without proper ground preparation.

It is important to dig tree pits twice as wide and twice as deep as the rootball, backfill the hole to the correct depth with a mixture of compost and the original soil and then plant.  With digging a big tree pit you are giving the tree roots space to grow and develop and therefore the tree will grow much better than just digging a hole the size of the tree rootball.

Where shrubs are being planted dig over the garden areas and bring in compost or other organic material to boost the nutrient levels in the soil.  Your plants will love you for this.

Good tree planting.  

Tree planting - this Autumn

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

With autumn now here and the soil moisture content increasing I believe it is the best time of year for planting trees and shrubs, followed by the winter and spring months.

Trees and shrubs planted in autumn establish well through winter and are ready come spring to burst out with new seasons growth, if you've put in the hard work. As Allwood Trees moves into winter we have a very busy tree planting season lined up. This is also when we pot on all our ornamentals. All our senior staff are qualified and passionate gardeners so we are more than happy to help you with advice on how to select and plant the right trees so that they grow well in your garden.

And, you can check out our planting guide if you still have questions.

We have our annual March sale kicking off this Friday 13 March, so come down and take a look at our huge range of trees and shrubs. Sale ends 31 March

Mark Hutching

Planting Guide

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Choose a location for your tree, making sure there is enough room for when the tree gets big.

Dig a hole twice the size of tree's container, removing clay into a separate pile. Keep sides of hole straight & bottom of hole flat. If soil in hole is dry, soak with water before planting.

Backfill the hole with good soil or compost. Finished height for the root ball should be flush with existing ground level.

For a tree in a bag; place tree gently in the hole at correct depth. Make sure the root ball of tree is moist before planting. Hold the tree by the bag and not the stem. Cut right around base with a sharp knife. Once tree is in position and upright, cut off the bag sides and remove. For a tree in a Europot; lean the tree over and slide the pot off the root ball. Once the pot is removed, roll the tree gently into the hole. Try not to disturb the roots.

The tree should now be in position so the top of the root ball is level with the surrounding garden. Then back-fill the hole with good loose soil around the root ball. Gently use your heel to compact the soil around the plant.

Staking Guide

Once the stakes are in place, use tree tie to secure your tree to the stakes. Tie one end of the tree tie to one of the stakes; making sure the knot is tight.

Run the tree tie out to the other stake and on your way back start twisting the tree tie over the first length until you get back to the first stake, making sure you twist around the tree but not too tight.

Once back at the first stake, tie the end of the tree tie to the stake. Keep the tension on the stakes not the trees.

Care of your tree

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Water is the most important element of care. Too much or too little water after planting may cause plant loss. Try to water early morning or early evening so that the plants receive most of the water and to reduce water evaporation on hot days.

  1. The site should be thoroughly watered after planting, even in winter. Ensure the root ball and surrounding soil is moist. Monitor the soil; if rainfall is inadequate, deeply water the soil around the tree by leaving the hose trickling for up to 2 hours (or longer if required), on a regular basis.
  2. After planting, the tree should still be watered on a regular basis till it is established. Water your tree every day for the first few days, then twice a week, then once a week, with about a bucket full (20 litre) of water each time. It can take up to six months for a tree to become established and during this time you will need to monitor it. Most trees will let you know when they need watering - the leaves will wilt or lose their sheen etc. If you are unsure whether you need to water, dig a small hole near the roots to inspect the moisture level. Slow trickle watering is recommended to ensure the whole root ball gets water.
  3. Refrain from watering deciduous trees as soon as the leaves start dropping in autumn and cease during whole dormant period. Resume during spring when buds start to burst. Do not over water your tree. It is just as bad to over water as to under water. If tree roots are water logged for sustained periods, they rot and therefore, cannot support the leaf matter in the tree canopy. (Your tree may need watering a little less often if spring is wet).
  4. On a hot day one square metre of bare soil can lose up to 2 litres of water. Cover the root zone area with 75mm to 100mm of either bark mulch or pea straw (don't use lawn clippings). This will assist with water retention and also reduce weeds.
  5. No fertiliser or manure is to be mixed with the soil at planting, as this may cause root damage. Apply fertiliser to the soil surface and water in. Use compost instead of manure. Al!wood Trees recommends Nitrophoska Blue as an all purpose fertiliser. Yates also produces the "Thrive" range of garden fertilisers that are excellent for a range of trees and shrubs.
  6. Staking is essential. Drive two stakes into the ground close to the tree but avoiding the root ball. Secure tree firmly using tree tie. Stakes and ties should be left holding tree for up to two years after planting until roots are established. Ties should be checked regularly during growing season to ensure they are not cutting into the tree.
  7. Do not, unless advised by Al!wood staff, build the soil higher up the stem than it was in the original container. To do so can cause damage to the tree.

If you have any concerns in regard to your tree's health, please call to make an appointment with a member of the staff. Please note this only applies in the first season of growth.

Ellerslie International Flower Show 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

We are very happy to announce that after weeks of hard work and great support from our sponsors, we've won a Silver Award at the 2012 Ellerslie International Flower Show. View more pictures of this garden in our gallery.

We would like to thank our sponsors for helping us so far with our Ellerslie display.
Richard Fowler Landscaping - 021 926226
Readylawn Christchurch - 03 3496980
Smart Precast Concrete Ltd - 03 3595393
Gardenmakers - 03 3415688