1. What trees to plant?
- Choose trees that are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions — preferably trees that have been growing in your region for a very long time — so they have a better chance of growing and thriving. Get advice from someone with local knowledge about trees.
- Think about what you want the tree to provide. Erosion prevention? Shade? Fruit? Fuel wood? Beauty?
2. When to plant?
The best time to plant a tree in the tropics and subtropics is during the rainy season or the dormant season. In temperate zones, the best time is in late autumn, after trees drop their leaves, or early spring, before they begin to bud. However, strong, healthy young trees can be planted throughout the growing season.
3. How to plant?
Trees can be planted either as seeds, cuttings (for some tree types), seedlings, or saplings. Saplings are the strongest and therefore most likely to survive. To plant a sapling:
- Dig a hole at least twice the width of the root ball to allow the roots to spread out. Remove the tree from its container, carefully cut off broken roots and slightly loosen the root ball.
- Place the tree in the planting hole. Always lift the tree by the root ball rather than by the trunk.
- Spread peripheral roots outwards. Avoid planting the tree too deep.
- Shovel some soil into the planting hole. Confirm that the tree is straight. Fill the hole gently but firmly. Pat the soil around the base of the root ball.
- Water the seedling thoroughly with a slow stream of water to settle the soil.
- Provide follow-up care. Protect the tree from pests and diseases by removing plants nearby that are likely to affect it. Watch out for drought conditions and provide water if needed, especially during the first few months.