Planting a Magnolia tree

so we've found the location for our new

magnolia tree which we're going to plant

it's quite a grassy area say the first

thing we've got to do is remove the the

turf and get that out of the way in a

nice neat circle

and then we've got a dig a good pits but

we're going to dig a pit that is wider

and larger than the base of the plant

we're going to plant and if the going is

tough we may need to use a more tax as a

good stone appearing there which we

don't want so it's important that you

don't just dig a pit that you loosen up

the soil in the bottom of the pit with a

fork so that when the roots break out

from from the container that they've

been in they can easily penetrate into

the soil but before we plant the tree we

need to get a bit of good will well

rotted down into the base of the pit and

this is this is done that came out of

the farm yard about three or four years

ago it's been sitting in a pile it's

really well rotted full of nutrients

designed to give the plant the best

possible start that it can have and we

just mix mix that in with the soil a

little bit and put a bit bit bit more

dung in with the rest of the soil which

is going to go back in the pit and then

we're ready to plant now the crucial

thing about tree planting is that the

soil must be exactly at the same level

as the soil was in the pot that the

plant has come from you can see that

that plant has got as being grafted if

you get soil over that graft you will

kill that plant so it's extremely

important that you get your levels right

and that no soil is going to cover that

that graft the other thing to think

about is that

if you've got a very tight root ball and

a lot of roots you can just spread them

out a little bit in this instance we

didn't have a terribly tight root ball

the root the root sir reasonably well

formed around the age of edge of the pot

and they'll break away quite quite

quickly you may find you've got a bit

more soil than you actually need

and you need to firm a firm in around

the plant but not not pushing too hard

on the root ball itself

and smooth that smooth around that the

plant making sure that you haven't

covered the graft and the other thing to

notice is that if you're planting on a

slope the plant needs to be set back

into the slope so that when the water

runs down when it rains the water is

going to run into the area around the

plant and not simply run off down the

hill and we can help that by rounding up

a bit of the old turf around around the

edge so that any water and when we have

a cloudburst or during the course of the

summer the waters all going to flow

properly in into the base of the plant

but that isn't the end of the story if

we were to leave that plant exposed like

that within a week or two a rabbit would

come along nor the bark and kill the

plant so we've got we've got to think

about rabbits and rabbit protection

we've got to think about deer and deer

protection and we've also got to think

about staking this plant because

although the leaves don't look very

significant now and Magnolia has huge

leaves and come the autumn it holds its

leaves long into the autumn so it may

well split out unless we've given it a

proper stake the first thing we do is to

put a spiral tree guard around around

the young plant that should keep any

mice away that might want to nibble the

stem and that's our first line of

protection in case something happens to

the wire surround that we're now going

to put round if a wire gets knocked over

by a dog or by human then at least at

least the stem is protected

we'll only leave that spiral guard on

the stem

perhaps for two or three years because

if as the plant grows it'll get tight on

the spiral

we'll get a buildup of year wigs or ants

or soil up in that stem and that too

will hurt the graft but as a short-term

measure that's the way to go so a rabbit

protection coming into place now and

this one inch mesh wire netting is quite

pliable quite easy to cut with a pair of

secretaries and quite easy to twist into

into the circle and we tend to work the

stakes actually in through the wire

netting say that they there's as little

movement as possible afterwards

and we'll just cut those two steaks off

top of the wire netting so now we need

to stake the tree itself and we need to

be quite careful how we do that you

would normally put the stake on the side

with the prevailing wind so here we know

that the strong winds come from the

southwest so we're going to put the

stake on the southwest side of the tree

so that's got the steak in now we want

have a tie and let's just have a look

place look at the tie so we can see that

this is a tie which is expandable and

we're going to wrap the trunk in in into

the tie

so we're holding the stem of the tree

firmly but we're giving it a little bit

of play so that any future years we can

loosen the tie as the tree trunk grows

and then we're firming it up to the to

the steak itself and threading that the

tie back in

so the basically the the tree is held

away from from mistake the tree when the

wind blows isn't going to rub on that

stake and hopefully nothing nothing is

going to happen which would affect this

tree which is now going to grow on and

in 20 years time be one of the great

features of the garden now it's taken us

probably a good 10 minutes to plant this

tree the more time you spend doing the

planting properly the more likely you

are to have a tree that grows away

successfully your second tie is probably

appropriate here it probably only need

to be there for a couple of years

and obviously you'll now need to inspect

that every spring just to check that the

whether or not that the ties need

loosening as they probably will just a

little bit each year until the tree is

standing up on its own and you don't

need the stake at all just water the

plantain just give it the best possible

start it almost certainly rain in the

next two days now we've done that but

that doesn't matter we've done

everything possible to ensure this tree

gets away