Pleached and Mature Trees

The place to buy large, mature and specimen trees

We can supply an enormous range of large trees. They range from smaller trees grown in containers, which a strong person might lift and plant alone, to enormous mature trees. The largest specimen trees have been grown in open ground and can only be moved and planted by machine.
Very large trees need planting by, and aftercare from, experts. For trees in containers you, or a local landscaper, may be able to arrange planting.

We source from reliable growers in this country and abroad who are used to supplying high quality mature trees.

Pleached Trees

The term ‘pleached’ refers to trees that are trained to form a screen of branches and foliage on a single straight stem. The single stem of our pleached trees are between 2 and 2.2m tall. Planted in rows at set distances, they will form an elevated ‘green wall’ that can be ideal as an alternative to high fencing. Pleached trees are often used to screen unsightly buildings and can be grown above an existing wall or fence. Used in this way pleached trees can extend the height of a privacy screen to 3 metres or more.

We have a range of Pleached Trees available to order on our website. The prices listed on our website are calculated at a minimum order of 5 trees. However, if you wish to order below 5, this is possible but unfortunately there will be a higher cost. If you wish to order below 5 please contact our team on 01257 265 232 or email theteam@impactplants.co.uk who will be happy to give you a bespoke quote.

Alternatively please fill out our online form and a member of the team will be happy to get back to you…

Request A Bespoke Quote

Shop from our pleached tree range

Pleached trees and very tall plants (over 2.25m), which cannot be transported on standard pallet lorries, have to be delivered on a dedicated haulage lorry. As we require a minimum order of 5 trees, this means the delivery cost is free. However as previously said, if you would like to order below 5, then please do not hesitate to contact us and we can discuss alternative prices.

Please be aware that the dedicated haulage lorries are large articulated lorries, therefore it is essential that delivery access is available for this size and type of vehicle at the delivery address. We cannot guarantee the time of delivery and so we advise that if using machinery that it is booked for a full day. If a vehicle of this size cannot access your property, please call the team on 01257 265 232 to discuss bespoke options for delivery.

The planting distance of pleached trees will depend on various factors, including species and the final desired effect. The trees can be planted so that each screen is just touching for immediate effect, although it would be advisable to leave at least a few feet to allow for growth. This distance of planting will give a deep bushy screen. Depending on patience (and budget) the trees can be planted with up to 10-12 feet between the widest parts of the screens. Over time these branches will grow out to meet one-another creating a slightly more narrow screening effect.

To prune and maintain pleached trees it helps to think of it as a two stage process. Firstly, the pruning required to train and tie in the newly forming tree, called ‘formative’ pruning. Secondly the pruning required to maintain the shape and form of the more mature pleached tree, known as pruning for ‘shape’.

In formative pruning, (which is only relevant to establishing a new pleached tree if starting from scratch) as young laterals are bent downward and tied in to the bamboo framework any excess laterals and stronger sub-laterals that are not growing in the plane of the tree should be pruned back to within a few centimetres of the stem. At the same time branches that are growing above the required overall height should be cut back to below the top of the frame.

Any branches that are crossing each other should be removed at an early stage. Crossed branches can rub on each other, and as they subsequently don’t heal, cause wounds that can lead to disease entering the tree. Tie in with soft twine or plastic tubular ties to avoid cutting into the tree. Older ties should be checked regularly and replaced if they are too tight, as they can cut into the tree as the branches thicken.

Tying in and formative pruning should be done several times during the growing season, with a final prune in October. When pruning to maintain the shape of a pleached tree it is important to first remove any diseased or damaged wood and also any broken branches. It is then a relatively simple matter of pruning the tree to maintain the shape. This should be done once or twice a year, late winter being a good time to assess winter damage and trim the tree before the spring growth obscures the framework of branches.

Once you have an established and mature tree it should be possible to cut away the old bamboo framework, to show your pleached trees at their best. Many of our mature pleached trees are at this stage in their development.

Espaliers require a more formal approach to pruning, the tiers are trained at regular spacings and each winter all upward growing laterals are cut back to around 5cm, to a bud, to form ‘spurs’ that will bear blossom and fruit the following year. Each tier can be extended until the desired final width of the tree is reached.

Planting Larger Trees

The principles of tree planting are similar whatever the size of tree. The idea is to try to disturb the tree as little as possible, placing it in an appropriate hole and in a situation to which it is suited. An acid loving tree should not be planted in chalky soil, nor a sensitve tree in an exposed location. Some trees need good drainage or are less tolerant of frost or sea spray. Aftercare and staking are then designed to help it settle in. Larger trees of course will need more expert handling and those in pots over about 70litres in size may need moving and planting using machinery.

To prepare for planting, a hole a little larger than the pot needs to be prepared. In heavy clay this would need to be broken up around the edges and bottom to prevent it from turning into a sump filled with water which would suffocate the tree roots. In light soils this is not necessary. Neither is it necessary to feed the tree at planting or provide rich compost as it is useful to encourage the tree’s roots to search for nutrients by growing into the surrounding soil. Although feeding is not essential it is now considered very useful to add mycorrhizal fungi to the roots when planting. The Royal Horticultural Society considers that they –

-aid plant establishment and vigour,

– help to overcome replanting problems,

– produce better developed root systems and

– leave trees better able to cope with drought.Rootgrow is the first and only plant or soil ameliorant licensed by the RHS and provides mycorrizal fungi (but we are not able to endorse it as we haven’t any test results).

In general the tree should be planted so that the ground level is close to the level of the surface of the compost in the pot.

Most trees will need some staking to prevent the wind from rocking the tree loose. It’s necessary to take into account both the size of the tree and how exposed it will be to strong winds. Large trees are likely to need more staking than smaller ones. Tree sizes are usually measured by their girth (which is their circumference in cms at 1m above the ground) if they have a single stem or by their height and pot size. For most trees up to around 16cm girth in a normal garden situation staking is by using a single stake driven in at around 45degrees and facing into the predominant wind which is often from the south west. The stake must be driven firmly into the ground avoiding the rootball as far as possible. It will usually cross the stem of the tree about 60cm above the ground. A well cushioned adjustable tree tie is attached and it should be loosened each year as the tree grows. Generally it can be removed after 2 or 3 years. For larger trees double staking is used (and occasionally guying and ground anchoring for very larger trees or difficult situations) which consists of using two tall vertical stakes.These would be either side of the stem and outside the tree’s rootball. The stakes are joined by a cross-piece which is attached to the tree by a cushion and flexible tree tie.

For very flexible young trees it may be necessary to use a taller single stake which can be reduced in height as the tree establishes. The general principle is that trees get stronger by flexing and adapting to adverse circumstances just as the muscles of an animal do. Over-staking therefore tends to produce weaker trees in the long run.

Don’t forget that rabbit or deer guards or protection against grazing cattle may also be vital.

It is surprising the extent to which weeds and grasses can compete with tree roots for nutrients and water. For trees planted into lawns or meadows therefore it is important to leave a clear circle about 1m in diameter until the tree is well established.. Mulching with a mulch mat or with about 50mm of bark can help, depending on species and location, both to keep weeds down and to maintain moisture levels in the soil. It is of course essential not to let the rootball dry out for at least the first year (see below).
Pruning of laterals (small side branches coming from the main stems) and of dead or diseased branches can be carried out at planting and will usually help the tree to establish.

It is always important to remember that a large percentage of the losses in the first year or two are caused by allowing the roots of the tree to dry out. Periods of drought are especially dangerous. However watering little and often can encourage the roots of the tree to stay near the surface instead of spreading to seek new sources of water. The spreading of the roots will also, of course, stabilise the tree long after the stakes have been removed. For these reasons, and because tree roots need air, it is often better to water trees through tubes sunk at the time of planting which provide water, as well as air, to the roots a foot or two below the surface. Failing this, surface watering systems such as leaky hoses can be useful especially when combined with mulches (although there are also trees, even species such as yew native to our better drained soils, which do not thrive if the soil is damp and mulched around their roots). In general it is important to prevent the tree’s roots from drying out during the first two or three years after planting and especially when the leaves are expanding in early spring. After spending on a large or mature tree it is foolish to let it die by poor aftercare. Unfortunately it is also very common.
Further useful information is available at the RHS site www.rhs.org