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.