F16 Giving young trees a good start

Environment and climate changeFarmingForestry

Make a small hollow around the tree to catch water. Keep clear of weeds.

If trees are planted on a slope, make V-shaped ridges to catch and hold rainwater. 

During dry periods, if seedlings are planted near the house or a water source, fill a bottle with water. Quickly turn it upside-down and press it into the soil near the roots. The water will slowly seep into the soil. 

Protect the trees from animals by using branches or thorns or a fence built round the tree. 


  • Why is it important to remove weeds from around the base of young seedlings? 
  • Do any participants have experience of using such V-shaped ridges? How effective might they be in trapping rainwater? Would they be difficult to make? 
  • Try to build a few such ridges around young trees planted on one of the participant’s land. 
  • Do any participants have experience of using bottles of water in this way? You could also use an old plastic bottle with its base removed and bury this in the soil near the tree. When water is poured in at dry times, it goes deep into the soil to where the roots are. Try using this idea with young trees or vegetables. 
  • Do participants have any other ideas for protecting young trees from animals?