How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your land has several benefits. Trees create summer shade, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

Once completely grown, trees are very simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to grow despite minimal care. However, if you want to ensure your trees achieve their full potential, they need more effort.

Lack of care for new trees might cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t too difficult, but you do need a little information to do it correctly. Educate yourself with the trees you plant in order to know what they need. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll describe the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it thrive. You probably are aware of the basics, so we’ll dive a little deeper and explain how to perform each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These five tips will not only help keep trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, withstand extreme winds, fight off diseases and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

The root ball of the tree and the soil all around it need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, because this can cause the roots to rot.

The general rule is 4-10 gallons of water each week. Rain water also counts, and although it’s difficult to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to supplement the remaining gallons. Your trees will need this much water for the first 2-3 growing seasons.

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive landscaping material. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch incorrectly can sometimes lead to rotting and decay – so much so, in fact, that it’s possible that the new tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it around to cover the ground under the longest limb. For new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will grow as well.

Keep the mulch at least 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in spreading it out consistently and away from the tree trunk so it does not impede air flow around the tree trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

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

The best season to fertilize is early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides the right conditions (mild temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t sure about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are typically a good idea because they feed your trees over a period of time rather than all right away.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a tree, and then review your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree becomes more established. As seasons go on, there will be tree care tasks that become more important for your new trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – yet very tricky – in the early years after planting a tree. As the tree grows, you will start to see many small branches take off, attempting to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this means that the tree is healthy and growing well, it can actually lead to a very weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming shapes the tree into what it will ultimately look like when it is much larger. As small branches emerge on the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the branches at the top.

As long as you have trees on your property, they need to be pruned regularly. When the tree gets too big for you to prune them safely, you can trust ID Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Young trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and insect problems. But you’re never 100% safe from these things. As your tree grows older, watch it carefully for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color changing out of season, especially leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, despite whether leaves appear healthy or sick
  • Wilting, regardless of adequate watering
  • Individual branches dying
  • Bark peeling off

These signals likely mean a health problem. It is likely going to require professional maintenance if your hope is to keep the tree alive. An experienced arborist can typically diagnose the problem by simply looking at the tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you discover the problem quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect younger trees.

The tips above are simple but effective. Don’t underestimate the value 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 good that the tree will survive and will look beautiful!

Of course, you may already have a very busy schedule and don’t want to take on these additional lawn care projects. In some 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 a good idea to seek the help of a tree company for the care of new trees. A professional arborist in Idaho can consult with you about the course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant on your property. Arborists love sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting brand new trees, and can be the difference between trees struggling and trees thriving.

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