After receiving your plants
We want everything you buy from us to thrive. However we cannot be responsible for the wellbeing of a plant that is in your care once you have taken delivery of it. Please see our terms and conditions.
The way to look after your newly delivered plants will vary depending on the plant, the time of year, whether it is in a pot and where you leave it. In general plants in pots can safely be left in a sheltered situation for some time provided they are adequately watered. However more tender plants may need protection from cold using bubble wrap, straw etc. During long periods (more then 2-3 days) well below freezing some evergreen plants may start to suffer from drought as they are in leaf but receiving no water from frozen roots. In this situation they may need to be taken into a warmer place until thawed and then watered.
Bare Root Plants
If you receive bare root plants but are unable to plant them immediately, for instance if it is not convenient or the ground is frozen, they can be stored in one of the following ways:
1. If the ground is not frozen dig a narrow trench and heel them in making sure the roots are covered with damp soil.
2. If the ground is frozen undo the package, check that the roots have not dried out (if they are dry stand them in water for up to an hour and then drain them), re-pack the root system only and keep in a cool shed or garage until the planting conditions improve.
Large Trees, Rootballs and Potted Plants
Very large plants generally need professional handling so that those in pots larger than about 70litres are difficult for even a strong person to move and plant. Several people, or mechanical handling, will be needed. It is usually best to leave them in a position out of strong winds which may blow them over and cause damage.
The Importance of Watering
It is very important to remember that many trees die from drought during their first year after planting. They must not be allowed to dry out completely, especially during that vital first year, so you may feel an irrigation system is worthwhile. After spending on large or specimen trees it is particularly foolish to let them die of drought. Unfortunately it is also common.
Further technical details on the different root types available
Bare root plants have been freshly lifted from the ground and wrapped and sold without the roots being contained. Root-balled plants have been lifted by machine and a ball of root and soil has been contained in hessian. They can be planted as they are or the hessian can be loosened a little. Wire root-balled plants are similar but this method is generally used for larger plants. In general bare root plants can be planted from November to April (when deciduous trees have lost most of their leaves) and root-balled plants for about one extra month. Plants in containers or pots should generally have been within their containers long enough for the roots to have developed to touch the inside of the pots but without becoming root-bound. They are suitable for planting at any time of year when the ground is not frozen hard or waterlogged. All plants will need to be looked after carefully during their first year when drought can easily kill them.