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On some planting sites, fertiliser is necessary to promote early tree growth.

Fertiliser must be applied between the months of April and August, preferably in May or June during dry weather minimising the run-off risk. This is to maximise fertiliser uptake and minimise the risk of environmental damage. All fertiliser should be applied broadcast and evenly distributed after tree planting.

Apply fertiliser manually to afforestation sites avoiding drains, buffer zones, areas within 20 metres of aquatic zones and waterlogged areas.

Fertiliser should not be applied during or immediately after periods of heavy rainfall.

Subsequent application of fertiliser should be undertaken following a prescription resulting from a chemical analysis of foliar samples.

Phosphorus is the most commonly applied fertiliser on newly planted trees, usually in the form of Ground Rock Phosphate (GRP):

Site type

Rate of application of

  • Granulated Rock Phosphate (approx 11% P
  • Ungranulated Rock Phosphate (approx 14% P)
Enclosed / improved fields recently farmed None
Former agricultural land not recently worked 250 kg/ha
Unenclosed land 350 kg/ha GRP at the time of establishment. A split application not exceeding a total of 400 kg /ha GRP is acceptable within the establishment period provided that there are no adverse environmental impacts, e.g. deterioration in water quality status.

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