How to Care for New Trees

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

Once full-grown, most trees are simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to grow with minimal care. But, if you want to help your trees achieve their maximum potential, they need more effort.

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

The good news is that tree care isn’t all that complicated, but you do need a little information to do it right. Familiarize yourself with the new trees you plant in order to know exactly what they need to succeed. Then properly care for them and watch them flourish.

Below, we’ll explain the five best tips for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You likely are familiar with the basics, so let’s dive a little deeper and explain how to complete each step.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, resist extreme winds, fight off diseases and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.

Water Your Tree

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

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

The popular recommendation is 4-10 gallons of water every week. Rain water counts, and although it’s challenging to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to add the remaining gallons. Your new trees will need this much water for the initial 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. But laying mulch the wrong way can sometimes result in rotting and decay – so much so, 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 underneath the longest limb. For brand new trees, this won’t be very far, but as the tree continues to grow, your mulch area will continue to grow substantially.

Keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches thick in all areas. Be attentive in keeping it spread out consistently and away from the trunk of the tree so it does not stop air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients your land’s soil might not have naturally. Most young trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you have to be using the correct products and doing it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.

The perfect time of year to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer provides good 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 usually a good idea because they feed your trees over time rather than all right away.

Follow through with these things in the initial growing seasons after planting a tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing as the tree gets older. As seasons go on, there will be additional tree care projects that become more important for young trees.

Prune Your Tree

Tree pruning is very important – but very challenging – in the first years after planting a tree. As the tree grows bigger, you will start to see many little branches take off, trying to become the tree’s trunk. While you may think this shows that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, it can actually result in a very weak tree as time goes on.

Early trimming helps to shape the tree into what it will look like when it becomes much larger. As small limbs emerge from the lower trunk, they need to be removed so they don’t pull water and nutrients from the upper branches.

As long as there are trees growing somewhere on your property, they need to be pruned regularly. When the trees get too big for you to prune them safely, you can trust LA Tree Trimming to do the job for you.

Monitor Your Tree

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

  • Leaf color changing out of season, especially leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Early leaf drop, despite whether these leaves appear healthy or diseased
  • Withering, even with adequate watering
  • Individual limbs dying
  • Peeling bark

These signals indicate a health issue. It is probably going to require professional maintenance if your hope is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can identify the issue by simply looking at your tree, although they will do testing if deemed necessary.

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

The tips above are simple but effective. Don’t underestimate the importance of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring severe, damaging weather, the odds are good that they will survive and look beautiful!

Of course, you could already have a lot on your plate and don’t really want to take on these additional tasks. In most cases, property owners don’t have the ability to give their growing trees the appropriate care.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to contact a professional for caring for new trees. A certified arborist in Louisiana can advise you about the course of care for each tree species you plant on your land. They enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with people planting new trees, and can make the difference between trees that struggle and trees that thrive.

Call LA Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Louisiana – including tree trimming – for newer trees and older trees. A local tree service will determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.