Planting the tree is really just the beginning. Under contract, tree planting contractors will make it their job to ensure the tree gets the best start in life by following a regular maintenance regime and revisiting the tree several times per year.
Mark Lovejoy, who heads up the national tree planting division at Gristwood & Toms, says “The key is care! Whenever we plant a tree we consider how it’s going to be in ten or twenty years’ time.” This is why Gristwood & Toms make a commitment to the care of all the trees that they plant throughout the term of a contract.
Mark continues, “As an example, this year, as a part of our contract with the London Borough of Barnet, we’ve planted over 900 trees. Last season we planted over 1000 there. And each tree gets 16 visits during the year by trained staff to check on its health.” This may seem like a lot of attention for individual trees, although as Mark explains “The trees we plant have an exceptional survival rate. We have very few failures and this keeps our clients happy”.
Usually the first visit will be in April, at the beginning of the growing season. This is known as the First Round. Each tree will be thoroughly inspected for any signs of weakness or disease and treated where necessary, the ground will be weeded and mulched, stakes repaired or replaced as required and the trees will be watered. In May a further two visits take place and then in June, July and August weekly inspections are made. The final end of season visit will involve a preparation for the Autumn and winter; weeding, feeding, mulching and watering.
Professional tree planting contractors can be relied upon to ensure that all trees planted, regardless of size, age or species, will be looked after so they improve their environment in the years to come.