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How to plant a tree in a water wise way
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 10:10
  1. Dig a square hole, half a meter wide by half a meter deep, for small trees or shrubs. One meter by one meter for large trees. Keep the dark topsoil separate from the lighter soil beneath it. Mix the lighter sub-soil with compost and organic fertilizer and put into the hole.
  2. Add 20-litre water to the hole.
  3. Remove the bottom of the plastic bag and place the tree upright in the hole so that the top of the bag is just below ground level. Remove remaining section of bag. Mix a small amount of compost and/or kraal manure with the topsoil and pack it firmly in the hole.
  4. Next to the tree's roots, plant an empty 2-litre cold drink bottle with two small holes made in the bottom, making sure the top is just below the surface of the ground. This can also be substituted for a 50m pipe, 1m long placed at an angle into the bottom of the hole.
  5. Measure one spade-length in distance around the tree. In this area, remove all grass and weeds. Water the tree and add a 10cm layer of mulch (leaves, stones, straw or strips of newspaper). The mulch must not touch the tree.
  6. Fill the bottle or pipe with water once a week. This prevents wastage by sending water straight to the tree's roots. Once you have watered the tree, put the lid on the bottle to prevent evaporation. Reason for lid to be below surface is that the lid is not removed by mischievous souls. After the first year, water the tree only when the soil is dry.
  7. Place a wooden stake next to the tree and tie it loosely to the tree trunk with soft material such as an old stocking to help it to grow straight. This is only necessary in areas of strong winds; otherwise most trees can fend for themselves. Prune the tree with discretion as the tree develops assisting with it's shape.
  8. Follow these instructions as numbered below.


plantatree
 

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