How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has several benefits. Trees create summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase property value.

Once completely grown, most trees are pretty easy to maintain: another benefit! They are durable and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. But, if you want to ensure your trees reach their full potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for new trees can cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.

Fortunately, tree care isn’t very complicated, but you do need some tips to do it right. Familiarize yourself with the trees you plant in order to know what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll outline the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely know the basics, so let’s dive deeper and detail how to do each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, withstand damaging gusts of wind, fight off diseases and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

New trees need more water than older ones. The trees you plant on your land are no exception.

The root of the tree and the soil surrounding it have to be kept moist, but don’t let it get too wet, because this can cause some of the roots to rot.

The general rule is 4-10 gallons of water per week. This includes rain water, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to add the rest. Your trees need this much water every week for the initial 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 the wrong way 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 cover the ground under the longest limb. For brand new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will also grow as well.

Keep the mulch no less than 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be vigilant in keeping it spread out consistently and far enough away from the tree trunk so it does not limit air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides the nutrients your land’s soil may not have naturally. Most young trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you need to use the correct products and doing it at the correct time in order for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The perfect time of year to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides good conditions (comfortable temperatures and moist soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t certain about which fertilizer to use, consult a tree care specialist for recommendations. Slow-release fertilizers are often a good idea because they feed trees over time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these tasks in the first growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree grows larger. As time goes on, there will be additional tree care tasks that become more important for your new trees.

Trim Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – but very challenging – in the first years after planting a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you {may|will see several small branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree over time.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it is much larger. As little branches emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be removed so they don’t pull water and nutrients away from the upper branches.

So long as you have trees on your land, they need to be pruned periodically. When the tree gets too large for you to trim them safely, you can trust BRAND to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never truly safe from these things. As your tree grows older, monitor it closely for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, with leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves look healthy or sick
  • Withering, regardless of proper watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health issue. It is likely going to require professional maintenance if your goal is to save the tree. A certified arborist can often identify the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you identify the problem quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect your new trees.

The steps above are simple yet effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with some sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are probable that they will survive and will look wonderful too!

Of course, you might already have a very busy schedule and don’t really want to be responsible for these additional lawn care projects. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary care.

No matter the situation, it’s ok to contact a tree company for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Alabama can advise you about the course of care for each tree species you plant on your property. Arborists enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with homeowners planting brand new trees on their land, and they can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call AL Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Alabama – including tree pruning – for newer trees and old trees. A local tree service can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.