How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has many benefits. Trees create much-needed summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal. Everyone should plant trees.

Once full-grown, trees are very simple to care for: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. But, if you want to ensure your trees reach their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.

Lack of care for new trees might result in rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.

The good news is that tree care isn’t all that complicated, but you will want some tips to do it correctly. Educate yourself with the new trees you plant to know what they need. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll outline the five best tips on how to plant a new tree and seeing it grow. You probably are aware of the basics, so let’s dive deeper and lay out how to complete each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only keep trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, stand up to extreme gusts of wind, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and produce more leaves, buds or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

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

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

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is more than an attractive landscaping product. It also helps protect new trees, especially the roots underground. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes cause rotting and decay – so much so, that the tree will not survive.

Place mulch 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground underneath the longest branch. 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 substantially.

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

Fertilize Around Your Tree

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

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

If you aren’t sure about which type of fertilizer to use, consult a tree care specialist for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are typically 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 tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree grows larger. As time goes on, there will be additional tree care projects that are more important for new trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very challenging – in the initial years after planting a new tree. As the tree grows, you may see a lot of small branches take off, attempting to become the trunk of the tree. While 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 over time.

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

As long as there are trees somewhere on your property, they need to be trimmed routinely. When the trees get too big for you to trim them safely, you can rely on NY Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

New trees are at the most risk for damage, disease and insect issues. But you’re never completely safe from these things. As your tree gets larger, monitor it carefully for evidence of disease or poor nutrition, including the following:

  • Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether these leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Withering, regardless of proper watering
  • Single limbs or branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signals likely mean a health problem. It is likely going to need professional maintenance if your plan is to save the tree. An arborist can often identify the problem by simply looking at the tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.

If you determine the problem quick enough, you will probably be able to save the tree. Being proactive is the best way to protect your younger trees.

The steps 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 chances are good that the tree will survive and look wonderful too!

Of course, you might already have a full schedule and don’t want to be responsible for these additional lawn care projects. In some cases, property owners don’t have the ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary maintenance.

No matter the situation, it’s ok to seek the help of a tree company for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in New York can advise you about the course of care for each type of tree you plant. Arborists love sharing their knowledge and skills with homeowners planting new trees on their land, and can be the difference between trees struggling and trees thriving.

Call NY Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree maintenance in New York – 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.