How to Care for New Trees

Planting a tree on your property has many benefits. Trees create summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase property value.

Once full-grown, most trees are pretty simple to maintain: another benefit! Trees are hardy and tend to continue growing despite minimal care. However, if you want to see your trees achieve their full potential, they need a little more effort.

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

The good news is that tree care isn’t too difficult, but you do need a little information to do it correctly. Research the trees you plant in order to know what they need to succeed. Then care for them and watch them flourish.

Here, we’ll describe the five best practices for planting a new tree and seeing it thrive. You probably know the basics, so let’s dive deeper and detail how to complete each step correctly.

Tree Care Tips for New Trees

These tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow much faster, resist extreme winds, fight off diseases 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 need be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause the roots to rot.

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

Mulch Around Your Trees

Mulch is much more than an attractive landscaping product. It 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 new tree will not survive.

Place mulch exactly 3 inches away from the tree trunk and spread it out to completely cover the ground under the longest branch. For 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 vigilant in keeping it spread out consistently and away from the trunk of the tree so it does not impede air flow around the trunk.

Fertilize Around Your Tree

Fertilizer provides many nutrients your soil may not have naturally. Most young trees can benefit from fertilizing, but you have to use the correct products and doing it at the correct time in order for fertilizer to be most impactful.

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

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

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

Trim Your Tree

Tree trimming is very important – yet very challenging – in the early years after you plant a new tree. As the tree grows, you may see several little branches take off, attempting to become the trunk of the tree. While you may think this means that the tree is healthy and that it is growing well, but it can actually lead to a weak tree in the future.

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

So long as you have trees on your property, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the trees get too big for you to trim them safely, you can rely on FL Tree Trimming to do it for you.

Monitor Your Tree

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

  • Leaf color change out of season, with leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Premature leaf falling, regardless of whether these leaves look healthy or diseased
  • Withering, even with adequate watering
  • Single branches dying
  • Peeling bark

These signs likely mean a health issue. It is likely going to need professional care if your plan is to keep the tree alive. A certified arborist can typically diagnose the issue by just looking at the tree, although they will perform testing if deemed necessary.

If you identify the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best course of action to protect your younger trees.

The tips above are basic yet effective. Don’t underestimate the value of the basics! When your new trees have pruning, fertilizer and more,, combined with sunshine and barring any severe, damaging weather, the odds are good that the tree will survive and will look wonderful!

Of course, you may already have a full schedule and don’t really want to take on these additional tasks. In many cases, homeowners don’t have the physical ability to give their new trees the necessary maintenance.

Whatever the situation, it’s ok to hire a tree company for caring for new trees. A professional arborist in Florida can advise you about the course of care for each type of tree you plant. They enjoy sharing their expertise and skills with people planting new trees, and can be the difference between trees that struggle and trees thriving.

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