Planting Guidelines

Everton Nurseries Planting Guidelines


Trees & Shrubs

Planting: Container grown trees and shrubs can be planted all year round.  Ensure that the rootball is thoroughly wet, soak in a bucket if necessary.  This is especially important in the summer months, when particular attention should be given to subsequent watering.

For trees and shrubs from open ground, the season normally extends from the end of October to late March.  Planting may be undertaken at any time in this period provided the ground is not too frozen or wet and sticky.

Initial ground preparation should be at least 45cm deep, Tree & Shrub Planting Compost being added especially where the ground is heavy. Farmyard manure may be used, well-rotted and not in direct contact with the roots. Tree roots are pruned before dispatch. Bone Meal or other suitable Tree & Shrub Fertilizers may be used at planting time – please ask our Garden Centre Staff which products are suitable.  Mulching is extremely beneficial and in addition some wind protection should be given to conifers and shrubs in exposed positions.  When planting into uncultivated areas, a circle of 90cm diameter should be kept grass and weed free until the new planting is well established.

If open-ground plants cannot be planted immediately on receipt, then they should be kept in a sheltered position and packaging loosened so that the roots can be kept moist.

Many failures can be attributed to drying winds and drought, particularly in spring and early summer.  Care should be taken to ensure the roots do not lack moisture, but waterlogged ground is detrimental.

All trees should be staked at time of planting.

Planting distances: As a general rule dwarf growing shrubs 80cm apart, medium growing plants 100-120cm apart, tall growing 150cm apart and trees not less than 300cm apart.

Pruning: For trees this should be done during the dormant season by shortening overlong shoots and removing weak and unwanted growth.  For shrubs, as a general rule, prune winter/early spring if the shrub flowers on the current season’s growth and prune after flowering if the shrub flowers before mid-summer to maintain shape and size.  Evergreens may be pruned in the spring and during the growing season, but generally not after the end of August.

Azaleas – Peaty soil is ideal, but any lime-free soil is suitable provided some leaf-mould or compost is incorporated.  They resent being over-dry at roots.  Partial shade is beneficial.

Camellias – These can develop into large shrubs when planted in a woodland situation. Also, against a north or west wall, or another position out of direct hot sun and with some shelter from severe winter weather.

Fuchsia – Some protection against severe winter weather can be given by drawing a 15cm layer of compost or leaf mould over the crowns. Prune hard back in spring to induce strong lower shoots throughout summer and autumn.

Rhododendrons – Ericaceous compost should be incorporated in the soil, which should be lime-free when planting Rhododendrons and they should be mulched yearly with well-rotted compost.  Partial shade is beneficial.


Climbers & Wall Shrubs

When planting against walls particular care should be taken to see that they do not suffer through lack of moisture at the roots. Try to plant at least 50cm away from the wall.


Hedge-making Shrubs

A well trenched strip of ground at least 75cm wide, followed by good cultivation is essential.



Care should be taken to ensure that they do not suffer through spring and summer drought or drying winds.


Hardy Heathers

Heathers revel in light peaty soil, but they will also thrive in a heavy (lime-free) loam if some ericaceous compost is incorporated in the ground when planting followed by an occasional top dressing of compost. Erica Carnea & Mediterranea with their varieties together with darlyensis will also succeed where there is lime.  For best results plant in well-drained soil and in a sunny position.



Most prefer moist situations and some shade



The site should be reasonably sunny, well drained and the ground well prepared.  Do not allow the roots to come into direct contact with farmyard manure. To enrich the soil use a proprietary product specifically for roses.  Soak the roots well before planting.  A mulch of compost, etc will be beneficial each summer.

When planting replacements in an old Rose bed, renew the soil around the roots of the new bushes.

All roses should be planted firmly – with the union of stock and scion 3-5cm below the ground.  Standards should not be planted more than 2 or 3 cm deeper than the depth mark on the stem.

For CONTAINERISED Roses, remove the pot so as to leave the ball of root and soil intact when planting.  It is essential to keep watered especially in dry weather.


Fruit Trees

Planting: The planting of bare root stock is best undertaken from November to mid-March, subject to favourable weather and soil conditions. Care should be taken to ensure that the site is well-drained, and if near the coast, has some protection from the salt winds. If manure is used, it should not come into contact with the roots. Bone meal may be added at planting to enrich the soil. Pot grown stock can be planted all year round, again subject to favourable weather and soil conditions.

Pruning: All bare root trees are root-pruned before leaving the nursery. The immediate top pruning of newly planted Apples, Pears and Plums should consist only of shortening the previous season’s growth by one-third to one-half, cutting to an outward growth bud.  Cherries should only have extra-long growth - light pruned. 

Pollination: It can usually be assumed that a selection of several varieties will ensure pollination, but if only one is required and there are no other trees in neighbouring gardens, then it should be chosen from those marked as ‘self-fertile’. 

Fruiting: Newly-planted trees should not be allowed to crop until established, usually in the third year.

Nectarines & Peaches – Fruits are borne on the previous season’s ripened wood, but in the case of newly planted trees this wood should be pruned off to one-third in early spring; thereafter general pruning consists of cutting away old wood and retaining new growth to fruit the subsequent year.

Those grown outdoors do not usually present any difficulties with pollination, but those grown under glass should have free pollen transferred between flowers with a soft brush or cotton wool.