Tree Care Information
Proper care is very important for all trees, especially newly planted ones. To achieve their natural beauty, trees require responsible care during their early years. The following information will help you to care for your newly planted tree so that it can develop correctly and enhance the appearance of your home.
A layer of mulch is necessary and has many benefits for newly planted tree.Mulch will conserve soil moisture, reduce competition from other plants, decrease soil compaction and help prevent erosion. Also, soil temperatures will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which will help to protect tree roots; tree roots begin to die at temperatures greater than 90 and less than 20 degrees. Mulch also helps the trees to withstand insects, disease attack and drought.
- Spread mulch under trees, shrubs, and throughout planting beds to a recommended depth of 3 to 4 inches for medium to coarsetextured materials.
- Pull mulch away from the bases of tree and shrub trunks creating a donut-hole (image on left.)Do not pile it up against the trunk ("volcano mulching"). Excessive mulch on the trunk causes moisture to build up, creating ideal conditions for insect pests, diseases, and decay (image on right.)
- Ideally, the mulched area around a tree should extend to the drip line of the branches, or at least cover a 4 to 5 foot diameter area around the trunk. The larger the mulched area, the more beneficial.
- Check the mulch depth annually and replenish as necessary.
Proper watering is the single most important maintenance factor in the care of transplanted trees. Too much or too little water can result in tree injury. More trees are killed by too much water than by too little. Newly planted trees and shrubs may need to be watered regularly for 2 to 3 years until their root systems become established. Large trees may take longer. For the first few months of the growing season after a tree is planted, the tree draws most of its moisture from the root ball. The root ball can dry out in only a day or two, while surrounding soil remains moist. To water the root ball and surrounding area, by let the hose run slowly at the base of the tree or use a root-watering needle under low pressure for 5 to 10 minutes.
Some things to avoid...
Newly planted trees have not been staked. Placing and tying stakes may injure the tree, so it should not be avoided where possible.
Do not tie anything around the branches or the trunk of the tree. Wire, rope, etc. could cause severe damage to the growing tree.
Avoid fertilizing the tree for at least one year after it has been planted. Proper mulching and watering is all a young tree needs in order to develop well. Too much fertilizer could impair a healthy tree.
Newly planted trees should not be pruned for at least 3 years. Pruning trees is not necessary until low branches become dangerous or too dense to let enough light into the center of the tree. Trees should only be trimmed for safety, health, uniformity and to allow wind to pass freely through the tree without breaking limbs. Parkway trees should not be trimmed at all. They will be professionally maintained on a regular basis.
Avoid using a lawn mower or a string trimmer around the base of the tree. This type of equipment may also damage the tree bark.