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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)
close this folder4. Planting techniques
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 Digging the holes
View the document4.2 On-site distribution of the seedlings
View the document4.3 Planting
View the document4.4 Use of fertilizers

4.3 Planting

Planting containerized seedlings

When planting containerized seedlings, fill topsoil back into the hole until the hole is as deep as the container: Cut the container open with a knife or the edge of the hoe and remove the bag. Care should be taken not to break up the earthball. Place the earthball into the planting hole, the upper part of the ball should be slightly deeper than the surrounding soil surface. Put the remaining soil into the hole until it is filled to the rim.

Firm the soil carefully with your hands or with your heel. Do not leave air pockets around the ball or the plant will dry out and die. Check that the fuming is sufficient by gently pulling the plant. The plant should rest firmly in the ground.

Seedlings should never be left in their containers. It will restrict the growth of the root system and cause the death of the young tree some years later.

The most critical factor for all kinds of vegetation on dry to semi-dry land is access to water. After the hole is filled, a layer of loose soil is left around the plant. Shape the loose soil into a shallow depression. This will cause the surface water to concentrate around the seedlings and they will get as much water as possible.

Planting containerized seedlings

1. Fill soil back into hole

2. Place container in the hole

4. Back fill

3. Cut container open

5. Firm soil from two three directions to remove airpockets

6. Make slight depression and mulch where possible

Planting larger bare-rooted seedlings

When planting bare-rooted stock, put the seedling into the hole with the root collar 2-3 cm below ground level. The roots should be well centred. They must not be bent or curved and must never be allowed to get twisted or bent in the planting hole. If the tap root is too long it should be cut to about 20-25 cm. Put the soil back into the hole. Make sure that the seedling stands straight. At the same time sort out stones and green grass. Firm the soil with the heels or hands from two or three directions to remove air pockets. Take care not to damage the seedling.

Planting mistakes to avoid

Air around roots

Bended roots

Roots too shallow

Roots out of hole

Seedling not straight

Planting bare-rooted seedlings

1. Hold tree with root collar 2-3cm below ground level

2. Put soil around the roots avoid air pockets

3. Fill up the hole

4. Firm soil carefully

Planting cuttings

Branch cuttings should be about 35-45 cm long with at least two leaf buds in the upper 10-15 centimetres. They should be planted in a slanting position with about 3/4 of their length in moist soil. Care should be taken that they are not planted upside down. Planting cuttings upside down will delay or prevent the rooting process.

Stumps (also called root-shoot cuttings) should be 20-25 cm, about 80% root and about 20 % shoot. The diameter at the base of the stem should be between 1 and 3 cm. Stumps should be planted in a vertical position, with the root collar just at ground level.

All cuttings should be planted in premade holes. They should not be forced into the ground. Take care that cuttings are not planted upside down. Cover the upper cut with mud to protect it from direct sunshine.