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Get that tree planting organised!
Originally published in 2009

It happens more and more these days- a customer asking if there is a "normal" time of year to plant farm trees and shrubs. After what seems to be an endless drought, the answer is No. However, over the past 8 years or so, there are plenty of farmers and backyarders successfully establishing natives in our region. I might just touch on a few pointers that may help you as well.

Have a calendar of "events" for your planting.
Order plants early- you get the plants you want, and nurseries sow the seed to order.
Prepare the site well in advance of planting- fencing, vermin control, and early weed control is important.
Keep an eye on the rain gauge! Be ready to plant. For the past few years many customers have been planting in mid to late winter (July-Aug) so weed control needs to take place about four weeks earlier than planting. Regardless of whether you use herbicide or mulch, this early weed control will conserve soil moisture benefiting your plants.
Don't rely on an autumn break. If you have ordered early, and we get a decent autumn break, by all means plant then but lately, sufficient soil moisture isn't available till June.
A mid to late winter planting could increase the risk of frost damage to newly planted seedlings. This will be a risk you'll have to decide upon.
Indigenous (local) trees and shrubs (grown from seed collected locally) will have a greater chance of success than if you plant trees and shrubs from other parts of the country which will have different frost, heat, and moisture tolerances.

If you are thinking about planting natives this winter, don't delay your decision much longer. If you're not sure where to start, give us a ring or talk to your local Landcare officer. Good growing!

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