Alan Titchmarsh: Gardening expert shares tip using ‘old pair of tights’ to plant a tree

Alan Titchmarsh shares his tips for planting a tree

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Planting a tree in your garden can add shade and even produce delicious fruit. But planting a tree can be more difficult than it looks. Gardening pro Alan Titchmarsh has shared a useful tip with fellow enthusiasts who wish to plant and stake a tree.

Alan demonstrated how to plant and stake a young Birch Tree in a YouTube video for Waitrose & Partners.

Alan said: “Youngsters like this Birch here will grow away in spring and summer and be well established by next autumn.

“But what they do need when they’re tall like this is a stake to tie them to and stop them from blowing over.

“The old technique was to get a big six-foot one [stake] and tie it at the top and at the bottom so the tree didn’t move at all.

“The current thinking is that the top needs to flex a bit to thicken-up and in order to establish the roots.

“So, the way to stake now is to put a stake in a good solid one like this at an angle of 45 degrees so the top of it comes about a third of the way up the tree.”

Alan explained that using an old pair of women’s tights can actually be very useful when it comes to staking a tree.

He said: “To fasten it, the tree to the stake, once you’ve banged it in is with a proprietary tree tie or an old pair of tights.”

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Alan added: “The great thing about tights is they’re a little bit elasticated like lycra.”

The gardening expert tied the top of the stick to the middle of the tree.

He also said wrapping tights around the tree stops the stick from chafing the tree.

However, Alan did point out a problem with using tights.

He explained: “The problem with tights, as ladies discover, if you’ve got any kind of flaw in your nails they catch.

“But when you’ve it around, do just a simple reef knot.”

Alan said once the stick and tree are firmly tied, there’s “no danger of constriction because it will move a little bit but not too much”.

Once tied, Alan cut off the excess tights hanging down from the knot.

He said to leave the tree to grow like that for a year so the tights become more established.

After a year, you can then remove the stake from the tree and cut the tights off.

“It’ll be fine on its own. Get planting. Trees are wonderful things.

“But the right tree for the right place. Not enormous ones in a tiny garden.”

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