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ARBMAN - 01248 60214624hrs: 07873 438803

ARBMAN : Tree Planting to BS8545:2014

Tree Planting and care of young trees This specification is laid out to ensure that newly planted trees have the best possible chance of survival.


Whilst carrying out tree planting operations the following British Standard will be adhered to:

  • BS:8545:2014 Trees

The planting season for tree stock shall be planted from mid October to mid March.


Selection All trees shall be sourced from a reputable nursery supplier and will be of British provenance and British grown where possible. They will exhibit a good form and healthy condition with a well balanced crown, clearly defined leader, free from any visible defects.  The tree roots should be compacted with a healthy, fibrous root system.  Trees supplied should be true to size and description of the specification.  Trees damaged by poor handling are not acceptable.


Once supplied trees shall not be exposed to adverse conditions prior to planting.  Tree roots shall be protected to prevent heating or drying-out. The root systems of all plants shall be of one or more of the following forms: bare root, root wrapped, root-balled, and container-grown (pot-grown). All bare root trees with stems of 14 cm girth and above shall be either root wrapped or root-balled.


Root wrapped trees should uncovered from their protective covering immediately before planting.  Minor damaged roots shall be pruned back to a suitable point.


Pit Preparation Planting should not take place when the ground is waterlogged, frozen or compacted. All grass, weeds and existing vegetation shall be removed from the area of the tree pit.  The pit should be large and modified (if necessary) to accommodate the full root system.  The soil at the bottom of the tree pit should be broken by a further 250mm (spit depth).  The pit should be of sufficient size to allow the roots to spread naturally without cutting or bending, ensuring that the tree is straight, upright and located centrally in the tree pit.


Backfilling material shall consist of a mixture of the previously excavated top soil from the pit with additional topsoil as required.  Fertiliser may be used and will be specified at the time of planting.


Backfill shall be returned to the tree pit covering the roots thoroughly and firmed down by gentle treading.


The tree shall be planted at the depth indicated by the soil/nursery mark and no deeper.


A layer mulch shall be applied to the surface and within grassed areas extend 150mm beyond the perimeter of the tree pit should be used to conserve moisture and minimize weed growth.  Mulch should only ever be applied when the soil beneath is moist.


Staking Methods All standard trees shall be staked.  The stakes shall be made of softwood, round 75mm diameter, straight and appropriately treated to give a minimum life expectancy of 5 years.


The stake shall be driven firmly into the tree pit before planting takes place to ensure the support of the tree during establishment.  The stake should be located on the windward side of the tree to avoid abrasion between the tree and the stake.


The height of the stake shall be at 1000mm above ground level or at 100mm below the crown of the tree (or which is the lesser value).

Single Stake Method For most trees and locations a single stake and one tie should provide adequate anchorage.


Double Stake Method “Tall Standard” trees (see BS 8545) may need two stakes and a tie from each stake to the tree; or two stakes, a crossbar and a tie; in order to hold the root system steady.


Sloping ground Single stakes, which should generally be on the windward side of a tree, should be driven into the ground vertically, although on hillsides a slanting stake may need to be installed on the higher side.


Underground Guying Systems Underground guying systems shall be used for standard size rootballed trees to anchor the tree firmly underground.  These should be sourced from a reputable supplier and not installed until authorised by the Arboricultural Officer.



Tree Protection Depending on the location of the newly planted tree, further protection maybe required the safeguard the tree from other influences.  Tree guards shall be galvanised steel mesh of 25mm by 25mm square dimensions.  The guard shall surround the tree and stakes and shall be securely nailed to the vertical tree stakes leaving sufficient room near to the base to allow for maintenance and mulch application. Fencing materials, such as green mesh should not be used. Any guards must be sourced from a reputable supplier and be fit for purpose.


Tree Maintenance The maintenance of newly planted trees shall be the responsibility of the Client.  Maintenance will be issued as individual procedures broken down as:


Watering- Shall be issued as a single operation to supply sufficient amount of water to saturate the mulch and top soil.  Provision for watering shall be made by the contractor, to allow total wetting of the rootball particularly in the dry period of the year.


Tree ties and stakes- Shall be adjusted, reduced, replaced or removed as instructed.


Young tree maintenance – Shall include a formative prune, the clearing of the planting pit of weeds, watering and applying a 2 inch layer of mulch.

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