Planting trees on your land has several benefits. Trees give summer shade, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal.
Once grown, trees are very simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing even with minimal care. However, if you want to ensure your trees reach their potential, they need a little more effort.
Lack of care for growing trees might cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.
The good news is that caring for trees isn’t all that difficult, but you will want some tips to do it right. Research the trees you plant to know exactly what they need. Then care for them and watch them bloom.
Below, we’ll outline the five best practices on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You likely are familiar with the basics, so let’s dive a little deeper and explain how to do each step correctly.
Tree Care Tips for New Trees
These tips will not only keep your trees alive, they’ll help them to grow faster, stand up to strong winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, flowers or fruit.
Water Your Tree
New trees need a lot more water than well-established ones. The trees you plant are no exception.
The root of the tree and the soil all around it need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, because this might cause the roots to rot.
The popular recommendation is 4-10 gallons of water per week. This includes rain water, and although it’s challenging to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can help get you close enough to supplement the rest. Your trees will need this much water every week for the first 2-3 growing seasons.
Mulch Around Your Trees
Mulch is much more than an attractive lawn care product. It actually helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that it’s possible that the tree will not survive.
Place mulch exactly 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground under the longest limb. For new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will continue to grow as well.
Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in keeping it spread out consistently and far enough away from the tree trunk so it does not stop air flow around the tree trunk.
Fertilize Around Your Tree
Fertilizer provides many nutrients that your land’s soil may not naturally have. Most new trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.
The ideal time to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer provides good conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.
If you aren’t sure about which fertilizer to use, consult a tree care professional for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed your trees over a period of time rather than all at once.
Follow through with these things in the first growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree grows larger. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care tasks that are more important for your new trees.
Trim Your Tree
Tree pruning is very important – yet very challenging – in the early years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows, you may see several small branches take off, attempting to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually result in a very weak tree over time.
Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it will ultimately look like when it gets much larger. As tiny limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they have to be removed so they don’t steal water and nutrients away from the branches at the top.
As long as there are trees growing on your property, they need to be pruned routinely. When the tree gets too big for you to prune them safely, you can trust TX Tree Trimming to do it for you.
Monitor Your Tree
Growing trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and insect issues. But you’re never 100% safe from these issues. As your tree grows larger, monitor it carefully for evidence of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:
- Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
- Premature leaf drop, despite whether leaves look healthy or sick
- Wilting, despite adequate watering
- Individual limbs or branches dying
- Bark peeling
These signs indicate a health issue. It is likely going to need professional maintenance if your goal is to save the tree. An arborist can diagnose the issue by just looking at the tree, although they will do testing if deemed necessary.
If you discover the issue quick enough, you will likely be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect your new trees.
The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are good that they will survive and will look wonderful!
Of course, you could already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to take on these additional lawn care projects. In some cases, property owners don’t have the ability to give their new trees the necessary maintenance.
Whatever the situation, it’s ok to hire a professional for caring for new trees. A certified arborist in Texas can consult with you about the best course of care for each type of tree you plant on your land. They enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills with homeowners planting new trees on their land, and can be the difference between trees struggling and trees that thrive.
Call TX Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Texas – including tree trimming – for new trees and old trees. An arborists will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.