Tree Planting Guide

It is crucial to plant a tree correctly, to ensure that it will grow well for years to come. In the past, we have seen too many trees planted incorrectly. Most of them were planted too deep.

Planting too deep will cause trees to slowly shut down and die because of the lack of warmth and air. The phloem and cambium layers of the trunk (which are the layers of cells that transport the food supply up the tree) will slowly die, and starve the whole tree of nutrients. Ultimately, this will kill the tree.

Over 80% of tree planting failures are due to the tree being planted too deep.

leafland tree planting guide


Dig the hole up to about 25% wider than the root ball. Make sure the hole is no deeper than the root ball.

Gently tease the outer roots away from the root ball. Then place the tree in the hole and firm up the soil around the root ball. If in heavy wet soils, mound up the site so water doesn't pond around the trunk.

In an avenue or street tree situation, bury a short section of slotted pipe such as NOVAFLO™ in the ground beside the root ball. Leave the top protruding above the surface for easy watering of the tree. The pipe can also be used for feeding the tree with fertiliser.

Ensure that the tree is planted with the top of the root ball at, or slightly above, ground level. The trunk flare (see diagram) should be partially visible when the tree has been planted.


Use two stakes for smaller trees and three stakes for larger trees, positioned beyond the root ball. For three stakes, position them in a triangle. Put the point of the triangle on the side of the prevailing wind. This will help keep the tree upright when the worst winds hit.

When staking, angle the stakes outward to increase the tension and help prevent the stakes from moving. Stakes should be solid wood or metal batons.

For tying, use something soft and non-abrasive to hold the tree (tyre tubing works well). Ties should be positioned about halfway up the tree, leaving the top to sway in the wind which will strengthen the trunk.

Staking is crucial for at least the first year, as it prevents the root ball from moving to allow new roots to establish.


After planting, water in with a good amount of water.

Fixed amounts of how much water a tree needs cannot be given. It all depends on the weather conditions, the type of tree, the size that has been planted, and the site conditions. If the tree needs water, give a good amount of water at once, instead of a little every day.

It is important that the water reaches the entire root ball and not only the top layer. Let the soil dry a little before you water again, so that the roots are stimulated to look for water by themselves and start to grow outside the root ball. However, never let the soil dry out completely. Keep the root ball moist, but don't water too much! If the site is continuously soaked, the roots will rot, eventually causing the tree to die.

When you are having doubts if you need to give extra water, it is wise to check the moisture of the root ball. This can be done, for example, by digging a narrow hole right next to the root ball.

Make sure the water penetrates through the soil to reach the roots. Just sprinkling water on top of the soil will not water the tree. The soil needs to be soaked through.


An effective way to retain moisture in the soil is to use mulch. This is especially important if planting from late-spring to early-autumn. Mulch also helps suppress weeds.

Cover the root zone with about 10cm of bark or mulch (not lawn clippings). Make sure to keep the mulch about 10cm away from the trunk.

If the mulch is piled around the trunk, the moisture can cause collar rot in the trunk and kill the tree.


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Terms of Trade + -

This is the most up-to-date version of our terms of trade and cancels all previous printed and digital versions. Prices quoted exclude GST. GST will be shown separately on each invoice. Prices shown are net at nursery and are subject to change without notice.

Freighting: Leafland Limited has a great network of freighting companies who deliver trees New Zealand wide. Remote/rural addresses usually incur a surcharge, but this is set at the trucking company's discretion. Delivery times and freight charges are subject to change without notice. Trees will be delivered in a large curtain-side truck approximately 4.2m high x 9m long. Truck drivers will deliver trees within 5m of access, where access is determined at the driver's discretion. Drivers are not responsible for moving trees around a customer's property. Customers are responsible for organising unloading to and transporting around their property of large and/or bulky trees as required.

Claims and Replacements: All trees are dispatched uninsured and at the buyer's risk. Claims for damages must be made within a week of receiving the trees. Once Leafland Limited has verified the claim, we will seek to replace or refund the damaged trees. After a week of receiving the trees, Leafland Limited will not be liable for any damage or death that occurs to the trees.

Returns: Once an order is completed and dispatched, if a customer then changes their mind, the trees must be returned to Leafland Limited, and the customer will pay the cost of transport in both directions. Refunds for the trees will only be paid once Leafland Limited have received the trees and verified they are in good condition. A return to stock charge may be added at Leafland Limited's discretion.

Credit Application: Please complete our credit application form and scan and email it back.

Payment: For customers who have completed a credit application with Leafland Limited, payment is due on the 20th of the month following dispatch. For non-account customers payment is to be made either when the order is collected or before the order is freighted.

Quotes: All quotes expire after one month. If the quoted prices have changed after the quote was issued, the new prices apply after the quote expiry date.

Deposits to Secure Stock: Leafland Limited encourage forward orders to ensure you get the stock you require. A 50% deposit may be required to hold trees for a month or longer. If the trees are not collected by the agreed date, Leafland Limited reserves the right to charge a holding fee at our discretion. Any cancellations of orders will result in a 20% cancellation fee, with the remainder of the deposit being refunded.

Ownership: Goods remain the property of Leafland Limited until paid for in full.

Overdue Accounts: Interest at 2% per month may be charged on overdue accounts. Leafland Limited may, at its discretion, forward details of any amounts outstanding and overdue for payment, to a recovery agent for the purpose of effecting collection of any monies owing. Should Leafland Limited utilize the service of a recovery agent, you, the customer, undertake to make payment of all debt collection costs in regard to any monies owed by you.

Information: All information about the trees on our website and printed media is given in good faith, but we give no guarantee as to the outcome of the final product as it is subject to natural variables beyond our control.

Tree Suitability: It is the customer's responsibility to thoroughly and fully research the desired trees before purchasing from Leafland Limited. The customer takes full responsibility to ensure the desired trees are suitable for their site (including, but not limited to, wind tolerance, livestock protection, moisture tolerance, height clearance, and drought tolerance).

Leafland Limited take the greatest care to have all trees dispatched true to name but will give no warranty as to growth or description. As we have no control over the environment the trees are planted in, the way they are planted, or the way they are cared for, we do not undertake to replace any failures that occur from incorrect planting, planting in an unsuitable environment, or the trees not being cared for properly.

Placing an order with Leafland Limited constitutes full acceptance of the above terms of trade.