What do tree planting contractors do during the warm months? The summer is not the best season for tree planting so Gristwood & Toms ensure that their groundworks contractors are busy with young tree maintenance. All young trees need a lot of after care, usually over the first two or three years of their lives when they are particularly vulnerable to disease, damage and drought.

For us, with local authority tree management contracts throughout London, it is vital that the maintenance programme is well managed although even the best laid plans can be scuppered by the British weather. It would be normal to commence watering young trees in May but the month was unusually wet. In fact it was one of the wettest Mays on record with continuous periods of rain for days on end.

The biggest killer of young trees is lack of water so the watering programme continues throughout the summer. Short bursts of rain and summer storms do little to help young trees when the ground is hard, the water tends to wash away quickly and fails to soak the root system sufficiently.

So for June, the company’s groundworks contractors will be busy checking for signs of stress, weeding, mulching, formative pruning, re-staking and removing cages. The watering regime will continue, a little later than normal, and trees will be checked for basal growth. This is where fresh shoots start to sprout out from around the base of the tree. They need to be pruned to ensure the trees grow upright, remaining strong and healthy for the years to come.