Planting in cold conditions

In recent winters the UK has experienced a more variable winter climate with extremes of cold frost and snow hitting pockets throughout the country. This has an impact on tree planting both from a tree production perspective and also when planting trees into the landscape.

The traditional tree planting period is November through to March meaning that the snow and cold weather can strike at key points of the tree planting calendar! Planting in extremes of frost and snow is not advisable and is not conducive to giving trees the best start. We therefore have some advice for you regarding when not to plant and if you are planting some tips to success in the cold…….

When not to plant!

As a general rule if the temperature is not rising above 0°C during the day for extended periods of time and the ground is too frozen to dig into this is a good indication not to plant trees! If this is the case you can still take delivery of your trees and wait for an opportune gap in the weather to get planting.

Until planting simply lay them diagonally against a hedge or non-abrasive surface to avoid them falling over and being damaged and prevents the crown from being eaten by hungry rabbits! The cold and frosty weather will not do the trees any harm providing they are positioned safely.

If you do commence planting and the soil being excavated is clumpy with ice this is a good indication that it would be best to wait and plant in warmer conditions.

Tips for Planting in the Cold

When it is cold it is prudent not to expose excavated pits to frosty conditions for extended periods. If you have more than one tree to plant dig the hole and plant the tree before moving onto the next tree. i.e. Do not dig all of the holes first!
Do not take the Barcham Light Pot off of the root-ball until you are ready to place it in the hole and finish planting.
Use a coarse bark mulch such as the Barcham Blend Mulch to mulch the base of the tree this will insulate the roots towards the surface and prevent any frosting to the roots.
Finally water the tree in using tepid water (rather than freezing cold water from an outside tap!).
If you would like any further advice or help please feel free to contact the Barcham Trees Sales Team on 01353 720 748 or email [email protected] with your query.

You can download this information in a printable format below Help with planting in the cold.