A Guide to Conifer Tree, Shrub and Evergreen Hedge Planting


Most people who have been gardening for a few years and planted some rootballed / bare-rooted hedging and trees realise that the window that they have for planting these is from mid October to mid March. What a lot of people don't know is that the best time for planting rootballed broadleaf evergreens and conifers is during the month of March. This is a perfect window to allow you to plant that evergreen hedge or specimen conifer you always wanted.

Timing of planting

The reason you would not usually plant these evergreens and conifers in November, December etc is that they are liable to be damaged by cold drying winter winds. They are liable to suffer from wind burn or dessication especially on the semi mature trees. Deciduous plants are leafless so they are not affected, whereas broadleaf evergreens and conifers retain their leaves over the winter often leading to drying of their leaves. The month of March is the safest time to plant those evergreens and conifers, so get them in before the month is out

Watering and transplanting

Evergreens planted during March must be kept watered well for their first year; a rough rule of thumb would be that if we get three days without rain the plant must be watered heavily. A lot of semi mature evergreens and conifers are planted during the weeks of March whether to give an instant lift to a flat and boring bed through the use of a specimen conifer, whilst some people out there may have a semi mature evergreen hedge that had one plant fail which they are now replacing.
Is it possible to replant evergreen shrubs during winter? Yes, it is, but the month of March is the best month to move to a new position any broad leaf evergreen or conifer that is badly placed. You can have a better chance of a successful transplant if you water heavily the plant to be moved every day for approx five days before moving. Organise that the new planting pit is dug before you even attempt to lift the transplant, this will minimise the time the transplants roots are exposed to the air. Lift the transplant with as much soil and fine root present as possible. When you come to replant it inspect the roots, if any are torn or damaged the trim them back. You should use a half topsoil and half compost back-fill mix for transplanting, work this around the transplant in the pit with your fingers to eliminate any air pockets.
Water your transplant heavily and water well for their first year.

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