King and Co the Tree Nursery based in Rayne, Essex are ready to help their trade customers succeed for another planting season.
King and Co have been helping horticultural professionals for over 45 years. The Nursery stocks a wide range of bare root and root balled hedging in addition to container grown trees and hedge plants. Importantly, the Nursery has retained its Plant Healthy certification for another year, which should be a real deal-breaker when considering tree and hedging suppliers for professional projects.
When is the best time to plant trees and hedging?
King and Co advise November to March is the optimal time for planting, especially when considering bare root and root balled hedging which should only be lifted and planted during this period. Container grown trees on the other hand can be planted at any time of year given the correct after care. Bare root plants are the most cost effective solution, notably when long distances and lower maintenance is required. Root balled trees and plants allow for larger sizes, and due to less cultivation needed, are more budget friendly than container grown alternatives. Container grown plants allow a more flexible time period when planting, are more sturdy when being transported, and weigh a great deal less than rootballed options.
The Nursery’s container grown trees have the end user in mind, having been grown in smaller containers to reduce weight, excavation waste, planting time and to increase manoeuvrability and ease of handling. Additionally, this enables all of the Nursery’s trees up to five metres, such as its screening trees, to be delivered next-day by its courier network.
What to plant?
The planting site conditions are one of the main determining factors for (un)successful establishment, some plants and trees can simply not acclimatise to certain conditions. Laurel trees and hedging struggles in drier soils whilst Yew hedging doesn’t tolerate wetter soils. Hornbeam performs well on heavy clay soils, where Beech is more suited to lighter soils.
A project in smaller gardens will benefit from smaller growing Rowan or Amelanchier trees. A client with young children or pets would avoid plants with toxic berries and sharp thorns. Ultimately, all planting is dependent on many factors. King and Co are able to advise trees and plants that best suit your project, even down to shorter stem height screening trees for planting in raised beds.
What’s popular at the moment?
Trees for screening and garden privacy account for the majority of our enquiries. New housing developments breed overlooked gardens, where pleached trees are used to block second or third story views. 1.8m (6ft) clear stems retain garden space at ground level, allowing for minimal maintenance and potential for underplanting.
Photinia Red Robin, Laurel and Holly are great evergreen options. Hornbeam provides a classic finish, but more consideration is required regarding foundations and planting close to structures. Standard screening trees provide similar coverage at a fraction of pleached tree prices, whilst also being easier to look after than the leylandii hedge they are often replacing!
How to plant?
Before delivery, ensure trees and plants can be stored and watered on site. Bare rooted plants must be sheltered immediately upon delivery! Root balled specimens should have wire cages and hessian in tact during planting, but remove containers/growing bags from container stock just before planting.
One of the biggest reasons for tree failure is planting too deep, the basal flare of the tree should be no deeper than ground level. Planting deeper than this suffocates the roots and induces anaerobic respiration. King and Co recommend staking each tree with adequately sized stakes to keep roots stable in the ground in the early establishment period.
Aftercare for Trees and Plants
Poor aftercare is the biggest reason for planting failures. A strict irrigation schedule, especially in the first and second growing season, can make or break a planting scheme. Don’t let your hard work be spoiled by dead trees and plants!
There are now an array of irrigation aids such as watering bags which can be used for watering on a less frequent basis. The Nursery advises its retail customers to water each tree at the base with 5 litres of water three times per week as a rough guide through the growing season, but to adjust based on the species and soil conditions. Watering frequently in smaller amounts prevents waterlogging and maintains moist soil without run off. It is important to note to your clients that rainwater is usually not enough!
How to order?
Let King and Co know your requirements with copies of plans, photos of areas, an email, phone call or simply order online. The Nursery specialises in fast delivery, just let us know when you need our stock and we can arranged for it to be delivered on any given day, sometimes even same-day! Ask for photos of stock or better still come into the store and pick your own.