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Maintenance Advice

Maintenance Advice

To increase the plants prospects for survival and subsequent growth rate, the implementation of a maintenance programme is essential

When planting barerooted stock it is not unusual for natural losses to occur. Always budget for a small percentage of failures to be replaced ('Beat-up') in the first two years following planting.

Weeding

Weed competition to the base of plants must be eradicated during the first three growing seasons. This may be done by chemical means or by hand weeding. If you have protection on the plants then you can safely spray the base to kill off weeds and grasses, without risk of chemical touching the plants.

If you do not require protection then spraying would become a very risky operation. We suggest therefore securing weed control fabric to the ground prior to planting in order to suppress any weed competition.

Lack of weeding is the biggest single killer of young planted trees.  It is far cheaper to weed than to replace dead trees or repay grants.  Weeded trees establish faster and need less maintenance overall.

When planting hedges or woodlands adjoining arable crops beware of possible spray drift. Young plants are either killed or experience severe growth check if they come into contact with Glyphosate (Round-up) or other herbicides.

Marking Losses

Count losses to be replaced in the summer following planting when the plants are in leaf. Mark the planting station where a replacement tree is required. This makes losses easier to identify in the winter when all plants have shed their leaves.

Check at least twice a year that protective sundries are securely fitted, such as spirals and canes, tubes and stakes. Replace where necessary.  Protection should be maintained for at least 5 years

Replace trees and hedging plants during the following winter period.

Example Maintenance Schedule

E.g. Broadleaves protected by tree shelters planted in November-March. (Brackets indicate operations which may not be required depending on conditions)

Year 1

March

Check shelters

April

  

Apply foliar acting herbicide

July

  

Check losses

September

  

Check shelters, pull out tall weeds, (cut tall weeds between trees)

November

  

Replace losses

Year 2

March

  

Check shelters

April

 

Apply foliar acting herbicide

July

  

Check losses

September

  

(Cut tall weeds between trees)

November

  

Replace losses, check shelters, pull out tall weeds

Year 3

January

  

(Apply residual herbicide)

March

  

Check shelters

April

  

Apply foliar acting herbicide

July

  

Check losses

September

  

(Cut tall weeds between trees)

November

  

(Replace losses) check shelters, pull out all weeds

Year 4

March

  

Check shelters

April

  

(Apply foliar acting herbicide)


Year 5 & Onwards

Gradual removal of stakes and shelters.

Occasional spot weeding around any trees still in need.