Tree Establishment.

Tree planting is referred to as the process of transplanting tree seedlings from the tree nursery to their area of establishment. This is done generally for land reclamation, forestry or landscaping purposes.
On the other hand tree establishment refers to the process of a tree regenerating enough roots to be able to sustain itself without irrigation.
Trees are long perennial crops lasting even for more than 50 years, as such their planting holes should be well prepared. Holes are usually dug wide enough, filled with well-rotten manure  before planting of the tree seedlings. Young tree seedlings should be provided with wooden support at transplanting time to avoid breaking due to strong winds. Statistically, over 70% of all tree seedlings die within the first year because of damage by browsing animals. Like young plants, tree seedlings should be given proper support, protection and water to ensure their survival to maturity.
Factors affecting  tree establishment include:
– Root health;  a poor root system doesn’t support a tree establishment.
– Weather; should be transplanted at the beginning of the long rain season.
-Aftercare provided; young seedlings should be watered frequently if dry conditions persist to ensure their survival.
-Soil conditions.
What Must be Done
Trees should be trained and pruned as desired while still young.
Pruning of trees should be done during the rainy season to reduce incidences of tree die-back (death).
During pruning a sharp instrument should be used to avoid leaving large wounds that easily get infected.
Trim off branches from a tree as close to the main stem as possible; large stumps should not be left on the main stem.
Remove all pruned / trimmed tree parts from the landscape. If left to decay in the landscape, they act as sources of infection  to the other landscape plants.
Symptoms of a poor established tree include:
– Yellow /brown leaves shrivelling and falling
-Shoots dying back.
Tend your tree well, won’t you?

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