Best Trees to Plant for Shade

shade tree

Growing shade trees on your landscaping has many wonderful benefits. Underneath a full-grown shade tree is the perfect place for a backyard BBQ or for children to play outside. It will also keep your home cooler during warmer months of the year.

To get all of the benefits of shade trees, you need to plant the right species of tree and care for them properly.

OK Tree Trimming has recommendations for the best trees to plant for shade, and some expert advice on maintaining your shade trees so they continue to grow healthy and strong.

Planting Trees for Shade

All trees can provide shade, but there are some species that are built for the best shade. These trees often have a thick, wide canopy that extends out nearly as far as it does upward.

In the following paragraphs, we’ve provided examples of shade trees depending on whether they would be best suited for your back or front yard.

Back Yard Shade Trees

Shade trees in the back yard are primarily for your own benefit. Neighbors and passersby usually won’t see these trees very much, so they can be planted purely for shade and enjoyment.

In addition to shade, these trees can create year-round color and some additional privacy from neighbors.

Here are popular choices:

  • Magnolia
  • Sugar maple or silver maple
  • Weeping willow
  • Weeping cherry
  • Red oak

If you have enough space, a live oak is another great choice. Live oaks are considered the fastest growing shade trees, and they can get very big. An older live oak can reach up to 80 feet tall and as much as 100 feet wide.

Many of these back yard tree recommendations get pretty large, so you definitely want to do a little research to find out if the tree is going to have enough space to reach maturity.

If there is not enough room, its root system can damage your fencing or home. You will also have to prune the tree every year to keep it from being overgrown. A tree that is too large for its location will probably have to be cut down, which is an unfortunate and sometimes expensive situation.

Front Yard Shade Trees

In the front yard of your home, you are planting trees for your enjoyment as well, but these trees will be much more impactful for adding value and curb appeal to your home since they can be seen.

Choose shade trees for the front yard that are a little smaller so they don’t overpower your home and landscaping. These trees should complement your landscaping in size and color, while still providing plenty of shade for front yard relaxation and play.

These are some of the shade trees OK Tree Trimming recommends:

Red maple
River birch
White oak
Ginkgo tree

These species trees are beautiful throughout the year, and they’ll exude even more color in the fall months.
Another good option for your front or side yard is the ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae. This hedge-like tree can be planted in a row to create privacy and shade.

With these suggestions in mind, we recommend that you plant trees you like. In reality, any tree can grow to become a “shade tree.” As long as the trees you choose are suitable for the weather in Oklahoma, they will provide your yard and home with shade.

Benefits of Planting Shade Trees

The reasons to have shade on your property are numerous — and there are a few that you likely wouldn’t automatically think about.

Shade, Obviously – When temperatures soar, you don’t have to run indoors if you have a nice, shady yard. Set up a chair or hammock below your biggest shade tree and enjoy time outside as long as you want.

Climate Control – Trees can control the temperature in your yard and inside your house. Not only do trees protect you from glaring sun, but they can also make it feel 10-15 degrees colder underneath their protective canopies. This means less solar radiation on your roof and siding as well, which should also result in lowering your energy costs!

Better Air Quality – Trees produce oxygen and remove pollutants from the air, so there is cleaner air surrounding your home. Arbor Day Foundation research reports that one mature tree absorbs around 48 pounds of CO2 out of the air.

Shelter for Animals – If you enjoy bird watching or think chipmunks are adorable, your shade trees can give them all they need to build a shelter, find food and raise babies.

Fun – What kid doesn’t want a backyard tree house or tire swing? If you have children, shade trees can offer hours of fun and joyful memories.

How to Care for Shade Trees

Caring for shade trees is pretty easy as long as you’ve chosen the type of trees for the climate in Oklahoma. Trees are strong and hardy after the first few years, demanding little attention or care.

Consult an arborist from OK Tree Trimming if you have any questions about the care of your trees, or even to help you determine the best tree for your yard.

As soon as you have decided on the best shade tree(s), follow this simple care guide until your shade tree is well established.

Planting Your Shade Tree

The east, west and south sides of your yard get the most sun, so plant your trees on one of these sides of your yard. This is two-fold: 1) the trees will create the most amount of shade and 2) they will also receive the maximum amount of sun for healthy growth.

Pruning Your Shade Tree

Prune during the first year or two after you first plant the tree in order to shape it and help it form a strong foundation. To be safe, and for the best results, call OK Tree Trimming for tree trimming in Oklahoma. A certified arborist will arrive at your home and deliver professional care for the tree.

Watering Your Shade Tree

Watering a new tree is very important. This will help them form a deep and strong root system and will give the tree stability in the long run.

Fertilizing Your Shade Tree

Fertilize a shade tree the same way you would any other type of tree in order to promote growth. Fertilizer is not a requirement, but it can assist in helping your tree to grow faster and blossom more leaves, which are the primary source of your shade.

We hope this information was helpful! Remember, when it is time to prune or trim a new shade tree, OK Tree Trimming can help! Call and a certified arborist in Oklahoma will visit your home, assess the tree and formulate the proper maintenance plan for its long-term health and growth.

Tree Trimming Mistakes to Avoid

tree pruning mistake

Tree trimming is best left to experienced professionals. It’s a dangerous job, climbing high up trees, using chainsaws and lowering heavy tree limbs to the ground; and it is sometimes dangerous for the tree too. Trees that are improperly pruned can sustain a lifetime of problems.

Instead of putting yourself in harm’s way and the tree itself at risk, enlist an arborist who is trained and experienced to do it for you.

This will lead to stronger trees and a safer environment near your home for many reasons:

  • Healthy trees are stronger and less likely to cause damage during storms
  • Maintained trees don’t attract or spread parasites and diseases
  • Pruned trees grow more flowers or fruit
  • Trimmed trees provide shade while still allowing air to flow throughout their canopies and your property

OK Tree Trimming highly suggests trimming trees that are very close to your home or any that are an integral part of your property.

Is Tree Pruning Necessary?

It is not required. But it is beneficial. Trees are strong and can survive on their own across the world, in various different climates and locations, without pruning.

That said, there are a lot of benefits of tree pruning, so it’s recommended for trees that you value. This can include sentimental trees, fruit trees and flowering trees or trees that offer an important service for your house, such as shade or home to wildlife.

Tree Pruning Gone Wrong

Trimming a tree is a complicated task. You are going to need the correct equipment and a lot of knowledge to guarantee the project is done correctly. The vast majority of homeowners don’t have any of these!

But that’s OK, because there are several companies available who know how to properly prune trees for an affordable cost to you including all of the certified arborists in Oklahoma we work with!

Below are the 5 most common mistakes homeowners make when they attempt DIY tree pruning that can lead to several tree problems. These are things that an experienced arborist from OK Tree Trimming will know, and that’s the reason why their services are worth paying for!

Pruning Too Much

When done correctly, pruning is a never-ending process. Beginning when your trees are just 2 or 3 years old, they should be care for by a professional if you value them and intend to keep them healthy.

A big mistake that people often make when pruning trees by themselves is trimming too much of the tree all at once. This happens because they have let the tree’s growth get out of hand and try to fix it all immediately. Ideally, you should only cut off 5-20% of the tree’s crown at a time. It is much easier to do this during a time of year that the leaves are off, but an experienced arborist will be able to properly trim trees any time of year.

Removing Tree Bark

When you cut a tree limb and gravity starts to pull it down, it can rip bark from the trunk right along with it. This exposes the tree’s inner layers, leaving the tree in danger of contracting diseases and making it easier for pests and rodents to scurry their way in.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, a trained arborist will make special cuts beneath big branches before making their final removal cut. Knowing exactly how to place these initial cuts removes pressure from the branch collar and limits the stress at the exact point of the main cut so the limb doesn’t rip.

Pruning in the Wrong Place

A trained tree specialist knows where to cut each limb to prevent damage. This cut should be done just beyond the branch collar, the exact place where the branch connects to the trunk.

Trimming too close to the branch collar exposes the tree to insects, decay and mildew. Cutting too far from it leaves an unsightly stump when the tree has recovered. Most DIY tree trimming results in an improper cut, leaving either aesthetic or structural issues.

Pruning Large Branches

Branches any larger than 4 inches in diameter really shouldn’t be pruned unless it is necessary. Cutting off a branch of this size can cause imbalance in the tree and expose it to insects and decay as the tree recovers from such a large loss.

Conservative pruning once each year guarantees that the company only has to cut off branches that are 2-3 inches in diameter, which results in a more attractive shape for the tree and less chance of damaging the tree or exposing it to decay and pests.

Topping the Tree

Tree topping is no longer a type of pruning, and for good reason! During this process, tree trimming companies would just cut the top off of the tree to achieve the desired height. It was neither attractive nor beneficial for the tree, so the majority of tree care companies do not practice tree topping anymore.

As a DIY tree pruning, you may think this is a good way to lower the height of your tree with only one cut, but once you have cut off the top of a tree, there’s almost no chance that it will ever return to a natural shape.

The Solution? Call OK Tree Trimming

Here’s the truth. Your tree may never recover from bad pruning.

Doing this job yourself might seem like a way to save a little money, but you could end up with way more expenses trying to revive damaged trees, so it’s much safer (and more economical in the long run) to hire a certified arborist in Oklahoma from OK Tree Trimming.

Limbs don’t grow back. The tree will grow more, but it will not grow back in the same places, which leads to odd shapes that might require years to correct. The tree might end up looking bad for the rest of its life, all because of a single trimming error.

Bad pruning could also result in death of the tree. Removing too many limbs (and, therefore, leaves) can inhibit the tree’s photosynthesis process, which means it won’t get enough water or enough sunlight and carbon dioxide to continue healthy growth.

Cutting off too many branches can also send the tree into a state of shock. Shock isn’t necessarily permanent, but it does take a lot of care and patience. Even with the right care, a tree undergoing shock may still die.

Avoid all of these tree pruning mistakes and call OK Tree Trimming to speak with a tree care specialist in Oklahoma able to devise a long-term plan to ensure your tree continues to blossom and look beautiful for years to come!

7 Common Tree Problems & Diseases

Trees are living things, so it stands to reason that they can become “sick” like humans and animals can. A disease or other tree problem might take a while to show appear due to the sheer size of the tree, and once you notice a symptom, it could be too late to save the tree.

A certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming can help you diagnose and treat common tree problems so that you have a much greater chance of saving the tree. Learn about our service here. Not only can an arborist help to stop a tree from dying, but they can also help trees get more healthy growth and more flowers or fruit.

Have you noticed a tree on your lawn that has always seemed healthy but suddenly looks like something is wrong? In the next section, we’ll describe some of the most typical tree problems and what these symptoms mean for a tree.

If you see any of these things on any of the trees on your property, act fast for the best chance of saving the tree and the ones nearby it.

Tree Diseases & Common Problems

These 7 things are the most common issues addressed by experienced arborists in Oklahoma. The moment you think one of these things is wrong with your tree, contact someone with the training and tools to help!

Tree Diseases

Leaf Rust – Leaf rust is a fungus that is common in both plants and trees. The name originates from the brown and yellow spots this disease produces on the leaves.

Leaf rust is bad because it prevents the leaves’ photosynthesis, the process by which it breathes. Leaf rust can be tended to with fungicides and selective tree trimming of the diseased leaves. It may be necessary to cut off whole branches with leaf rust.

Witches’ Broom – This common disease results in a large mass of twigs, dead leaves and branches that look like a broom shape. It is caused by insects, unusually wet weather or fungus. The construction of a clump of leaves and twigs is the tree’s reaction to infection or harm.

Some cases of Witches’ Broom are deadly for the tree, others are simply considered a growth malformation. A tree care professional can tell you for sure.

Mildew – Mildew is a type of fungus that grows on almost anything in moist conditions, but even after the wet conditions are over with, mildew can persist and thrive. Mildew appears as a powdery texture, usually white, and it often grows on the leaves of a tree first.

The trick to eliminating mildew is to apply a fungicide that contains sulfur. This will eliminate the existing mildew and help to stop future mildew growth on the tree. You may also need to prune the tree to remove branches, fruit, flowers and any leaves that were affected by the mildew

Gall – Gall is a type of tree condition that appears when insects build small nests on the leaves or branches of a tree to lay their eggs in. Most galls are not harmful to the tree, but none of them are attractive.

Gall appears as as bumps on the tree, in varying sizes. They are often white, brown, gray or some color in between.

You do not have to treat the tree for galls, but they can limit the growth of new trees. Treat galls by killing the insects. You should also clean out from under the tree after the leaves fall off, since this is where the insects survive during winter months.

Other Tree Problems

Improper Pruning – There’s a discipline to tree pruning, as well as many types, and if you don’t know what to do, you could harm the tree beyond recovery. Consider the type of tree, season and other factors. Under-pruning (or not pruning at all) can be just as big of a problem. Only an experienced arborist should be trusted to trim trees in order to keep them healthy.

Lack of Water – Young trees can be severely affected by drought. If you want to plant new trees on your property, you will probably have to supplement the amount of water they get from rainfall. A tree that is not getting enough water can have its growth stunted. The first symptom you are likely to noticed is scorched, dry leaves. Find more tips for new trees here.

Too Much Sun – Do your initial planning before planting trees in a sunny area. Most types of trees can handle it without issue, but too much sun can happen to any tree if the sun is harsh for an extended period of time and rainfall is light. A tree that is getting excessive sun needs extra water to fight against wilting, drooping leaves.

Certified Arborist Services in Oklahoma

An experienced arborist from OK Tree Trimming will be able to quickly identify what’s happening with your sick tree and lay out a plan to rescue it if at all possible.

Here are the things an arborist is qualified to do:

  • Inspect trees from the ground and from the limbs of the tree if necessary. Getting into the canopy is typically necessary to see exactly what is creating the symptoms.
  • Treat your tree through fertilizers and additives in the dirt or solutions sprayed on the leaves. This person will have knowledge about the disease impacting the tree and the most effective treatments.
  • Prune trees to eliminate dead or damaged branches and to encourage healthy growth. Even if heavy trimming is necessary, they will know how to remove branches so that the tree survives both the issue and the trimming process.
  • Remove the tree from your yard if nothing can be done to save it. The worst case scenario is that the tree is dying, and removing it is the only way to protect your property and surrounding landscape.

They can also inform you about the trees that you have and how to best maintain them so you don’t return to the same situation in the future.

Many tree problems look similar to each other, requiring a professional opinion to correctly diagnose and correct the issue. If your trees are looking dry, disfigured or dying, call a certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming for an inspection before it’s too late.

What is the Best Season for Tree Pruning?

seasonal tree pruning in oklahoma

When it comes to the question, “What season is best for tree tree pruning?” The answer can be vague.

The type of tree usually dictates when many species are able to be trimmed, along with insect population and activity, local tree and plant diseases and other types of plants and trees in the landscape.

With the guidance of a certified arborist in Oklahoma, you can decide which time of year is optimal for trimming your trees to prepare them for success next season and every year after that.

Best Season to Prune Trees

Without any other context, OK Tree Trimming recommends trimming trees in the winter. This ranges from November to March in most areas. Winter is optimal because the trees are typically dormant, so trimming will lead to a minimal amount of damage, if any.

There are several benefits to pruning trees in the winter:

Less risk of pest damage and disease – Insects and plant diseases are mostly inactive during the winter in Oklahoma. During the remainder of the year, anything from insects to fungus can harm a freshly pruned tree because the tree will be the most susceptible and these issues are more common during warmer weather.

Easier to see the shape of the tree when the leaves are gone – Leaves prevent your arborist from seeing the overall shape of the tree. When tree branches are bare, it is much easier to see dead or diseased branches and branches that are touching versus those that are just too close to each other.

Trees have time to heal before spring – By performing major pruning during the winter, your trees will have many months to rebuild callus tissue on the ends of the remaining branch collar. By spring season, you’ll hardly be able to tell where the branches were cut off, and the tree will be able to devote its energy to produce new, healthier leaves, fruit or flowers rather than healing new cuts.

Less chance of harming surrounding landscaping – Most of the nearby trees and greenery will also be dormant during this time, so there is less risk of damaging them. Many times, a tree is surrounded by annual plants in the spring and summer, but there are no plants to be disturbed during the winter months since these annuals have already died out.

Do All Trees Need Pruning?

Yes, all trees will benefit from annual pruning. Tree pruning each winter is good for the trees, but it is also a precaution for the safety of your landscaping and your family and neighbors. Let us explain:

Pruning Makes the Tree Healthier

Dying and diseased branches are cut off, as are stubs that are prone to pests and disease. Limbs that can rub one another are also trimmed so that they don’t weaken one another or create an open wound on the tree.

Pruning trees every winter is also a great way to get expert eyes on your trees so that early warning signs of decay, disease and pest infestations can be spotted and dealt with immediately.

A Cared-For Tree Serves Its Purpose Better

When a tree is overgrown, it starts to be hard for water and nutrients to reach every limb. This can leave the tree looking scraggly and sick and definitely not doing what it’s intended to do.

Trimmed trees, on the other hand, produce more fruit, healthier leaves and provide better shade. They are fuller and healthier and less likely to create landscaping problems. So regardless of why you decided to plant a new tree, routine trimming will improve the results you desire from it.

Trees are More Attractive After Trimming

If the view of your yard or landscaping is important to you, tree trimming is a necessity! Trimming trees results in an attractive, uniform size and shape. This is very important if you have a lot of similar trees on your property.

Trimming lower branches and upper branches that grow at improper angles improves the overall look of the tree while also promoting tree health.

Less Risk of Dropping Branches

Tree pruning – from a professional – encourages the remaining tree branches to grow stronger and healthier. Therefore, storms and other inclement weather in Oklahoma won’t affect your trees the way they would an unkempt tree. Your home and family will be safer living under and around pruned trees.

Another safety concern for large trees is that they block the view of traffic lights, road signs and driveways. Tree trimming, crown raising and other professional tree care services will keep the tree at a good size and stop it from blocking various views.

Call OK Tree Trimming for Tree Pruning

Working with a professional arborist in Oklahoma gives you access to their expert knowledge on the subject of tree trimming. We recommend relying on their expertise if there are trees on your property that you’d like to keep healthy for a long time.

An arborist doesn’t only consider the immediate situation. Instead, an arborist will take time to research your trees and study their unique scenario (including their location and other factors that may put them at risk of disease or infestation). After gathering all the information, an arborist will make a long-term plan based on the trees’ unique needs and stick to that plan until the goals for your trees are achieved.

This plan might take years to implement, but rest assured, it will result in healthy trees that you and your family can enjoy for generations.

This kind of annual maintenance will aid in healthy tree growth, help your entire property resist plant diseases and improve flower or fruit production from your trees. It will also fortify your trees so there is not as much risk of falling trees or limbs.

Being proactive about tree care can save you a lot of money too. Preventative maintenance is far more cost-effective than paying for emergency tree services, storm damage cleanup or restoring a sick tree of a disease that has gotten out of control (and one that was easily preventable).

If you care about the health of your trees and the curb appeal of your landscaping, trust a certified arborist for tree pruning and maintenance from OK Tree Trimming. Discover our service area here. We work with arborists across the entire state of Oklahoma. Call today!

Types of Tree Pruning

tree pruning types

Tree pruning in Oklahoma is an important professional service that can beautify and reinforce your trees so they are able to fight off pests, diseases and severe weather – and look good while doing it!

Pruning needs to be done if you want a healthy tree, but it needs to be done properly by someone who knows what they’re doing. Like a certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming. Homeowners may be able to prune and trim trees safely while they are still small, but you also may do permanent damage to the tree in the process.

To properly prune trees, you need to know all of the following:

  • When to prune your species of trees
  • How much of the tree should be trimmed at a time
  • Where to cut the branches so you do not damage the tree

Removing too much from a tree could kill it or result in structural damage, but precise trimming done every year benefits trees in several ways. Pruning improves the appearance of trees, makes them healthier, removes dead or diseased limbs and assists in fruit or flower production.

Ideally, pruning must be performed once a year, but as trees mature, you might be able to wait two years between major pruning services. Regardless of how often you have your trees pruned, ensure your arborist is qualified to perform the type of tree pruning your trees need. This won’t be a problem if you call OK Tree Trimming in Oklahoma!

Types of Tree Pruning Methods

There are 7 different ways to properly trim a tree so that it grows healthier and stronger every year.

Depending on the size, species and health problems of your trees, one pruning method could be more effective than another, but each technique has various benefits to consider.

Crown Thinning Your Trees

Crown thinning is common for larger, overgrown trees in Oklahoma. This process removes weak branches within the crown to improve light and air flow within the crown. Air flow is important to help prevent disease.

This pruning method also removes branches and limbs that are touching so they no longer rub against each other and snap or create weaker areas that can be an entry point for insects and pests. Limbs that grow at odd angles are almost always removed during crown thinning.

Crown Raising Your Trees

This tree pruning technique only removes branches at the lowest part of the crown so limbs start higher up on the trunk of the tree. Letting low branches get too large makes them very difficult to cut off, and they can draw nutrients from the top of the tree, resulting in less fruit and a weaker tree.

There are many reasons you may choose to raise the crown of a tree. Frequently, it is done to clear the line of sight for cars and pedestrians, but it can be done to create space for landscaping beneath the tree.

It is a common method for large trees that are too close to homes and buildings.

Crown Reduction

Crown reduction reduces the overall size of the crown from its outer edges. It shortens branches vertically and horizontally to maintain the tree at a manageable size. By reducing the size of the crown, you can eliminate the need to chop the tree down because it will no longer interfere with traffic lights, power lines or street lights.

Even if the tree isn’t close to structures like these, crown reduction can make the tree look neater because it also removes irregular growth. This is a great solution for trees that are different ages but are supposed to look consistent.

Crown Cleaning

Often referred to as deadwood pruning, crown cleaning is a minimally invasive type of tree trimming technique that gets rid of dead, snapped or diseased branches so that the rest of the tree may continue to grow normally. These limbs can only create problems later.

Crown cleaning makes the tree look a lot better, and it prevents branches from rubbing together. Plus it is a safety practice that lowers the chance of branches falling, since healthy branches do not fall very often.

Crown Restoration

Crown restoration is an intense trimming method used on trees that have been severely damaged (either by pests or weather). It should only be done by an experienced arborist who knows where the tree is likely to grow over time and how long it’s restoration will take.

Unlike other tree pruning services, crown restoration happens throughout an extended time period with conservative trimming that reshapes the tree. An arborist should have a plan to restore the tree, but also must be flexible as the tree grows and reshapes on its own, adapting to the tree’s new growth.

Vista Pruning

If you want trees to help improve curb appeal, you are actually interested in vista pruning. The goal of vista pruning is to make the tree more aesthetically pleasing from a particular viewing point.

It consists of many pruning techniques including crown thinning, crown reduction and crown cleaning – anything that makes the trees look prettier. Remember, though, that a professional is not going to compromise the health of a tree, so the primary focus of vista pruning is still to create strong, healthy trees.

Espalier Pruning

Espaliered trees are heavily pruned to grow flat against a wall or a trellis. It is a unique style of tree pruning that is going to draw a lot of attention to your lawn. Espalier pruning has to begin when the tree is very young and then done consistently during the tree’s life span.

of espalier pruning include facilitating maximum sunlight to get to the trees, as well as making it exceptionally easier to harvest fruit.

Professional Tree Pruning in Oklahoma

Tree pruning can be harmful to a tree, your landscaping, and, of course, for you! OK Tree Trimming highly recommends professional tree trimming over attempting DIY.

Aside from the many dangers of tree trimming, you can do a lot of damage to a tree if you don’t know how to prune it correctly. Over-pruning is one of the most typical errors made by homeowners maintaining their own trees.

Trees in Oklahoma that get routine care from a professionals are usually much better off, and hiring a certified arborist from OK Tree Trimming to trim trees on your property is a choice you won’t regret. Locate your town in our service area. We work with arborists throughout the entire state of Oklahoma!

How to Care for New Trees

Planting new trees on your land has many benefits. Trees give much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter polluted air and increase curb appeal and property value.

Once full-grown, most trees are pretty easy to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to grow despite minimal care. But, if you want to help your trees reach their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for growing trees might lead to rotting, disease, under watering or pest issues.

Fortunately, caring for trees isn’t all that complicated, but you do need a little information to do it right. Research the new trees you plant in order to know what they need to succeed. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll explain the five best practices on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably know the basics, so we’ll dive deeper and lay out how to do each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

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

Water Your Tree

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

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

The popular recommendation is 4-10 gallons of water each week. Rain water counts, and although it’s hard to get an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to add the rest. Your new trees 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 material. It helps protect new trees, especially the roots. But laying mulch incorrectly can 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 out to cover the ground underneath the longest horizontal branch. For brand new trees, this isn’t going to be very far, but as the tree grows, your mulch area will continue to grow substantially.

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients that your soil might not naturally have. Most new trees benefit from fertilizing, but you need to use the right products and doing it at the right time in order for fertilizer to be most beneficial.

The ideal season to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer also provides good conditions (comfortable temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.

If you aren’t certain about which type of fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all at once.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a new tree, and then reconsider your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree gets older. 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 – but very challenging – in the initial years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows, you may see many small branches take off, attempting to become the tree’s trunk. You may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree as time goes on.

Early pruning shapes the tree into what it is going to look like when it is much larger. As little limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they must be cut off so they don’t suck water and nutrients from the upper branches.

So long as you have trees growing on your land, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the trees get too big for you to prune them safely, you can count on OK Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

Growing trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never truly safe from these issues. As your tree gets larger, watch it closely for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, with leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Early leaf falling, despite whether these leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Wilting, despite adequate watering
  • Individual limbs dying
  • Bark peeling

These signs indicate a health problem. The tree is likely going to need professional care if your plan is to save the tree. An arborist can often diagnose the problem by just looking at your tree, although they will perform testing whenever necessary.

If you determine the issue quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect growing trees.

The tips above are basic yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have proper care, 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 may already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to perform these additional tasks. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the ability to give their new trees the appropriate care.

No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a professional for caring for new trees. A certified arborist in Oklahoma can advise you about the best course of maintenance for each tree species you plant. They love sharing their knowledge and skills with people planting brand new trees, and they can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call OK Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in Oklahoma – including tree trimming – 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.