Planting instructions

  1. Your tree will arrive  either in November or February/March. It will be packed in a thick plastic bag and staked with a bamboo cane to protect, as far as possible, from damage in transit. The roots will be coated in a protective gel to prevent them drying out, and they will also have been well moistened prior to dispatch.
  2. If possible plant your tree immediately. Plants can be kept in the unopened bag for a couple of days in a cool place, but if the roots appear to be drying out then open the bags and spray the roots regularly with water. If the time for planting in its final position is longer then ‘heel’ the plant roots in under loose soil where they remain cool and moist.
  3. Your tree is best planted in full sun or partial shade; however Cercis can thrive in very shady positions, but will not flower so well. The red of the leaves may also be dulled. Avoid very windy, exposed places if possible.
  4. Prepare the hole by digging out a size 100% larger than the root and then after placing the tree into its correct position fill back in with the soil ensuring that the mix is well drained.If on clay or heavy soil, add some sand or grit and organic matter.
  5. The graft union should be 3-5 cm above the soil level; the neck of the root below the soil.
  6. If planting into a container a little root pruning can occur in order to fit the plant in, but do not remove much. The graft union should be 3-5 cm above the soil level, the neck of the root below the soil. Use a free draining compost.
  7. Even though the tree is small, stake the plant to avoid root disturbance when the wind blows, in the ground and also in containers.
  8. Tie using a soft rubber tie.
  9. Use a rabbit guard if there is a risk of damage.
  10. Add a layer of wood mulch.
  11. No fertilizer is required at this stage, but can be applied after leaf break.
  12. In June, if there is still no bud break, scratch the bark to see if the plant remains green. If so it is alive and will break dormancy.
  13. If growing in the mid to northern part of Scotland it is recommended to plant first into a container and keep in a greenhouse until summer for one or two seasons and then when a rooting system is established place into the ground.
  14. Keep plants well watered for the first 2 years until established. The vigour of Cercis is good once established.
  15. When feeding use a general balanced fertilizer in February and then in June a high Potash feed such as a tomato fertilizer. This assists in ripening the wood for better flowers the following spring.