Planting Apple Trees

Dear Martin

I will shortly be planting a bare rooted apple tree in a space that previously housed a flowering shrub. I have not improved the soil (clay after about 10inches) since planting the shrub. I have read contradictory advise about whether or not to put compost in the planting hole.

What do you advise?  


Dear Lina

Many thanks for your recent enquiry regarding the imminent planting of your bare rooted apple tree.

Placing compost in the planting hole may benefit the tree but only to small degree; it's far better to turn over the soil around the planting hole and mix in plenty of well rotted compost or other organic matter to held moisture retention and drainage. By all means throw a few handfuls of compost into the planting hole but it's this larger scale pre-planting work which will really benefit the tree. One other aspect to consider at this time of year - only plant your tree if the soil is not frozen or waterlogged.  

I hope this helps; thanks again for your enquiry and good luck with your gardening.