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Buying a new tree or shrub can be very exciting, but also confusing.Whether buying a bare-root, rootballed or containerised plant, it is important to consider factors such as size, root and canopy health, suitability for the garden and retailer guarantees.
Trees in containers, ready for planting.
Follow these guidelines when buying any tree or shrub, no matter how big or small, deciduous (losing their leaves in winter) or evergreen, and bare-root, rootballed or container-grown.
Autumn is a great time to buy and plant a new tree or shrub, as you can choose from container-grown and bare-root plants.
However if pushed for time, you can plant at any time until early spring as long as the soil is dry enough to work (if it sticks to your boots or tools it is too wet).
Container-grown trees and shrubs can be planted at more or less any time of year, but need thorough, regular watering after planting to ensure good establishment. If planted in spring or summer it can be very challenging to keep them alive during hot, dry spells.
Selecting and buying a tree or shrub is not always straightforward. The following are some appropriate points to consider.
As long as the plants you buy are healthy, there should be relatively few problems afterwards. However, there are a few things to watch out for, including brown or ailing leaves.
Buying: garden centre plantsBuying: mail order plantsHedges: plantingTreesTrees and shrubs: plantingTrees: buying and planting specimensTrees: staking
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