Site preparation

From three to six months before planting:

  • graze and spray area with glysophate.
  • if soils are ‘cloddy’, plough area to improve the quality of the mounds and reduce air pockets.

Rip and mound as deep as possible. Aim to do this when the sub-soil is dry to increase the shattering effect of the ripper. Fence area as soon as possible and reduce large numbers of stock pushing the mounds back down. Remember, your tree line fence will be under greater pressure than normal as it will always look greener on the inside to most stock, so a good quality fence is important.

From four to six weeks prior to planting:

  • spray mounds or rip lines with glysophate and a residual herbicide such as simazine, to prevent any weeds germinating for the next six months or so.

The aim of early ground preparation is to capture any moisture that falls in the mound or rip line. Eliminating weeds ensures that this moisture that falls in the ground ready for planting. This enables you to plant even if there has been no major rain prior to this. Ripping and spraying one week before planting is of little benefit.

Planting

Good planting comes with good ground preparation. Ensure preparation is completed in advance so the ground is ready to go as soon as moisture levels are present.

Water your trees well before planting and plant them deep, around 3cm-8cm above the plug, depending on the plug and the size. This gets the roots down to the moisture and stops the plug acting as a wick, sucking moisture out. Firm trees in with your foot to stop browsing animals pulling them out or wind damage.

Fertilize after planting. Fertilizing is essential to getting your trees up and growing in the first year. Remember, however, that if your weed control is no good - you will also be feeding the weeds.

Maintenance

It is important that your trees remain weed free for the first two years, especially in spring and autumn when they do most of their growing. You need to have all your moisture and nutrients available to your crop. Fertilizing at a higher rate the following year after planting will help maintain tree growth.

Browsing animals, rabbits, kangaroos etc. must be kept under control, especially in the first two years.