Good weed control is essential for successful establishment and quick initial growth.
Trees planted and then left in a thick sward of grass and weeds will struggle to remain alive, often dying due to moisture competition in a dry summer.
In the 12 months before planting, two applications of Roundup should be applied, to kill all perennial weeds such as twitch and yarrow. Any draining or ripping needs to be done during the summer.
Following planting in the winter, apply a 1m-diameter ring of suitable mulch. This will conserve the winter soil moisture, and form a physical barrier to stop the seedling weeds germinating. Spread the mulch 10cms deep leaving a 5cm-diameter area clear of the trunk.
Mulch keeps herbicide
away from foliage.
A further 30cm spray ring will keep invasive weeds from growing back into the mulch ring. If mulch is not available, then keep the planting site free of all weeds using a contact herbicide such as Buster or Galant. Roundup is easily translocated into the plant, so the use of Greenguard plastic spray guards will protect the tree stem. Residual herbicides rely on a barrier of chemical to stop weeds germinating, however many trees are sensitive to these products.
Always seek local advice before using herbicide spray products.