Comprehensive Step by Step Guide to Plant a Tree

Planting a tree might sound simple but there are some things you might have missed out. The guide below provides a thorough steps to plant a tree properly.

1 year ago

Before starting the process, the objective need to be clear before initiating selecting, purchasing, and planting the plants in land or location. Knowing the answer to the intention to plant trees, benefits and beneficiaries and constraints ahead, it will be clear whether the plantation may be urban purpose, commercial purpose, cultural purpose, and others. According to the objective, the species should be selected considering geological nature and geographical configuration. If you would like to know more about the details of the plants based on the ecological region, please click here.

Site Selection

  • Appropriate species should be selected based on three ecological zones of Nepal such as Terai, Siwaliks and Inner Terai, Mid-hills and mid- valleys and temperate with high mountains. 
  • Species should be suitable based on local site qualities, local climate, altitude, aspect and average rainfall including slope of the areas. 
  • In general, what kind of sites are available such as slope, waterlogged and other kinds of lands should be identified the real site characteristics. 
  • Soil is most important for the growth of the plants and adaptation to that sites; therefore, the soil qualities such as PH values (acidic or alkaline) of the site should be identified.
  • The site should be cleared before plantations such as bush and shrubs should be cleared. Fencing should be arranged if necessary.     

Species Selection

  • Local/ indigenous species should be priority for the plantation; as far as possible the local indigenous species should be selected that will not be invasive and disease or insect prone. Local species  have the capacity of quick adaptation and resistance to diseases and insect attack. 
  • Indigenous species are considered suitable  for plantation to resist the harsh climate to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  
  • Seed should be collected from plus trees (best seed producing trees with best form and size) for production of quality seedlings. The seed is the most important factor for better growth including form and adaptation to the sites.  
  • Precaution should be taken for proper seed processing, storage and pre-treatment as per the nature of collected seeds  before seedlings production.

Seedling Production and Selection

  • Polybag size should be selected based on the period of stay in the nursery; such as 3×7 inch and 4 x 7 inches size bags for less than one year stay of the seedlings and 5×8, 10×10, 10×12 or 12×12 inches for more than one year. 
  • Cuttings and root shoot cutting type of seedlings may be raised directly on the nursery bed. 
  • Regular irrigation, weeding, shading arrangements, root pruning and hardening is essential for quality seedling production  
  • Prior selection of seedlings in the nursery should be done otherwise the leftover seedlings may not have better quality and healthy nature.  
  • Normally one feet high plants are planted; however, it is recommended to plant 3 feet high or above in the urban and along the roadsides. 
  • To supply in urban plantations, it needs one to three years to produce tall or multi-year plants. Sometimes it may need to keep more than three years in the nurseries. In a high mountain above 2000 meter altitude it needs to be kept several years for the right size of the plant.   

Site Preparation

  • Locally available tools such as spade, mattock, shovel and other soil borer ( Khanti and Gal )  can be used for pitting the pits and site preparation. 
  • Modern tools such as pit digging machines and pit driller machines can also be used to pit.
  • In normal, pitting is done early in Nepal, it has the advantage that the roots of the young seedlings will be in contact with already worked friable soil, which is particularly important when hard, indurated soils are being planted?. I confused here Sir. It also results in an area immediately around the plant remaining free of weeds for a considerable period after planting.
  • The pitting plan should be done about 15 days earlier before plantation. Sometimes pitting can have one or two days earlier too. 
  • It is recommended to prepare the pits for plantation keeping gaps at least more than a week. It supports monitoring and improving the sites for well management.

Pit Type, Size and Spacing

  • The pit size may be different than the normal size in the urban city sites because the footpath and the along the roads the grater should be used with the type and growth pattern of the plant.
  • After site preparation, the spacing should be aligned as per the species nature and plants’ growth including vigourness and plantation type.
  • The spacing depends on the objective of the plantation such as if we must produce commercial product of fast-growing species then the spacing should be closer than normal spacing. 
  • In normal 2.5×2.5 mt spacing is preferred to raise normal forest. 
  • If the vigourness of the tree is much bigger means crown size is big then the spacing should be much than normal spacing distance. 
  • The spacing should be aligned along straight line.
  • After site preparation, the spacing should be aligned as per the species nature and plants’ growth including vigourness and plantation type.
  • The spacing depends on the objective of the plantation such as if we must produce commercial product of fast-growing species then the spacing should be closer than normal spacing. 
  • In normal 2.5×2.5 mt spacing is preferred to raise normal forest. 
  • If the vigourness of the tree is much bigger means crown size is big then the spacing should be much than normal spacing distance. 
  • The spacing should be aligned along straight line.

Transportation of Seedlings from Nursery to Sites

  • Seedlings in polypots, stumps, bare-root plants, cuttings are major type of plant stocks. 
  • The selected seedlings or polybags or cutting in the nursery should be separated and watered regularly at least prior to 2 to 3 days.
  • If polybag seedling is to plant, every polybag should be inspected for not to be torn and broken. 
  • Every seedling should be healthy and with good size.
  • During uploading and offloading the seedlings from the transportation means it should be very careful to handle the seedlings. Always hold the polybags rather than the seedling. 
  • Plants or seedlings stocks may be transported from nursery to the site by vehicles or porters (doko) too.  If the doko is used, the base of the doko can be filled with straw or any such similar kind of material to make the equal base. 
  • In cities where vehicles like; Jeep, tractor, bull carts are used to transport the seedlings there should be carried the seedlings on the appropriate tray (30 cm x 45 cm). (may be bigger size) Now, other types of trays are also available in vegetable and grocery shops. 
  • The seedlings should be watered before transportation and the speed of the vehicle should be low otherwise the seedlings will be dried during transportation.  Undulated and rough roads should be avoided if possible, otherwise the shock of jerk should be avoided.
  • Proper care should be taken from Nursery to the site of the seedlings such as loading, offloading, transportation, and placing on the planation site. 
  • The polybags soil should not be loose, and watering should be done regularly. 
  • Seedling should be placed on safe and under the shade and upright position on the levelled ground as far as possible.

Plantation

  • Plant as soon as possible after transportation of seedlings. There should not be more gaps between transportation and plantation. 
  • The seedlings (Polybags/cuttings or bags of big size plant) should be placed upright position next to the pit.
  • The method of planting depends on the type of seedlings such as poly pots and bare-roots or stumps or cuttings. 
  • If polypots plants are to be planted in previously dug pits into which the soil has been refilled, the first step is to use a hoe to make a small hole in previously filled pit equal to the poly pot. in the soil deep enough to take the plant or slightly deeper. Then about two centimeters are sliced from the bottom of the container, to remove any curled-up roots, and the container is placed in the hole so that the root collar is at the level of the ground surface of the pit. If the hole is too shallow it will need to be deepened, if too deep a little soil is refilled back into it. 
  • Then the plant’s container is slit using a sharp knife or razor blade and removed from the seedling, taking great care not to disturb the cylinder of soil round the roots of the plant. 
  • The plant is held in an upright position and then the soil refilled round it, a little at a time, and as each amount of soil is added it is pressed firmly round the plant with the fingers. 
  • When the hole is completely full the whole plant is further firmed up by trading round it with the feet. 
  • When the work is completed the soil around the plant should be level with slightly higher than the surrounding soil surfaces, so that unnecessary water should not be retained during rain and it should be impossible to move the plant by pulling it gently with the hands. The following important point should be noted. 
  • The polypot must be removed. 
  • The cylinder of soil round the plant must be intact. 
  • The root collar of the plant must be level with the soil, and certainly not higher. 
  • After planting the seedlings should be firm in the ground.
  • The tall plants should be supported by a stick with a rope to be upright position. 
  • The plastic bags after plantation should be collected and managed for recycling. Otherwise, it should be properly managed with careful manner to conserve the environment.

Protection and Care of plants

  • Based on site characteristics and season of the planation, watering and irrigation facility should be available and should be watered regularly. 
  • It does not need watering in the monsoon season. Post monsoon and pre-monsoon plantation should be done with watering management. 
  • The plantation site should be protected by grazing and fire.
  • Regular weeding arrangement should be done. 
  • Regular manuring and care of soil is utmost necessary in the urban areas. In general, once a year it should be done.  A calendar of work should be prepared. It is also said caring plan.
  • After one or two months of plantation in monsoon season the weeding is necessary around the plants to reduce the nutrient competition. 
  • Sometimes, unwanted plants around the planted seedlings may disturb the plants therefore it should be done before winter season begins. In dry season and winter season the weeding is avoided to protect from the chilling effect and to conserve the moisture.
  • Pruning, trimming and thinning should be done properly with consulting forestry or arboretum technicians.
  • In urban areas, the plants should be decorated, and the protection should be done with a proper tree guard and grater. 
  • Tree guards and grates should be constructed in a way that makes it easy for passers-by to walk in the city.
  • Grates should be prepared according to the size of the stems and branches during the growing period of the plant.
  • The beauty of the city can be maintained as the soil and other structures will not be disturbed in the place when the plants are planted, and the grates will be constructed and connected in the place where the walkers walk in the city.

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