How to plant trees which will last

Arborist Mark Roberts tells us how planting a tree requires a lot more than simply sticking it in the ground. Considering the tree’s roots, soil, staking and transport are all essential

I began my career as a horticulturist in the late 1980s. It wasn’t intentional, it just kind of happened. In the 90s, I left the dirt and got into the trees and by the 2000s I moved into education. During that time, I had become involved in an American-based organisation, the International Society of Arboriculture, and started travelling to the USA two or three times a year. One of the many projects they were working on was the development of planting specifications. I had been planting trees and shrubs for more than 20 years and didn’t realise that poor planting was such a problem – but clearly it was then and it seems it still is.

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