Planting a tree on your land has several benefits. Trees provide summer shade, create privacy, filter contaminated air and increase curb appeal.
Once full-grown, trees are very easy to care for: another benefit! Trees are strong and tend to continue growing even with minimal care. But, if you want to see your trees achieve their maximum potential, they need a little more effort.
Lack of care for new trees could cause rotting, disease, under watering or pest problems.
The good news is that caring for trees isn’t too difficult, but you will want some tips to do it right. Research the new trees you plant to know what they need to succeed. Then care for them and watch them flourish.
Here, we’ll outline the five best tips 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 complete each step.
Tree Care Tips for New Trees
These tips will not only help keep your trees alive, they’ll help them grow faster, withstand strong winds, fight off diseases ,insects and pests and create more leaves, flowers or fruit.
Water Your Tree
New trees need a lot more water than grown ones. The trees you plant on your land are no exception.
The root ball of the tree and the soil around it should be kept moist, but don’t let it get soaked, as this might cause the roots to rot.
The general rule is 4-10 gallons of water each week. Rain water counts, and although it’s difficult to have an exact reading, a rain gauge can get you close enough to add the remaining gallons. 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 sometimes result in 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 cover the ground under the longest horizontal limb. 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 as well.
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 impede air flow around the tree trunk.
Fertilize Around Your Tree
Fertilizer provides several nutrients that your soil may not naturally have. Most young trees will benefit from fertilizing, but you have to use the correct products and doing it at the right time for fertilizer to be most impactful.
The perfect time to fertilize is during early spring. Sometimes early summer provides the right conditions (comfortable temperatures and wet soil), but don’t count on it.
If you are uncertain about which fertilizer to use, speak to a tree care professional for advice. Slow-release fertilizers are usually a good idea because they feed trees over a period of time rather than all right away.
Follow through with these tasks in the initial growing seasons after planting a tree, and then reevaluate your watering, mulching and fertilizing needs as the tree becomes more established. As seasons go on, there will be tree care projects that become more important for your young trees.
Trim Your Tree
Tree pruning is very important – yet very tricky – in the initial years after you plant a tree. As the tree grows, you will see several little branches take off, trying to become the trunk of the tree. 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 shapes the tree into what it is going to ultimately look like when it is much larger. As small branches emerge on the lower trunk, they need to be removed so they don’t pull water and nutrients away from the branches at the top.
As long as there are trees growing somewhere on your property, they need to be trimmed regularly. When the tree gets too large for you to prune them safely, you can count on MS Tree Trimming to do the job for you.
Monitor Your Tree
Young trees are at the highest risk for damage, disease and pest problems. But you’re never completely safe from these things. As your tree grows older, monitor it closely for signs of disease or bad nutrition, including the following:
- Leaf color change out of season, especially leaves turning yellow or brown
- Premature leaf drop, regardless of whether leaves appear healthy or sick
- Withering, regardless of adequate watering
- Individual limbs or branches dying
- Bark peeling
These signs likely mean a health problem. It is probably going to need professional care if your plan is to keep the tree alive. An arborist can identify the problem by simply looking at the tree, although they will do testing whenever necessary.
If you catch the problem early enough, you will likely be able to save the tree from dying. Being proactive is the best way to protect your younger 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 chances are in your favor that they will survive and look beautiful!
Of course, you could already have a very busy schedule and don’t really want to be responsible for these additional tasks. In some cases, property owners don’t have the physical ability or the tools to give their growing trees the necessary maintenance.
No matter the situation, it’s a good idea to hire a tree company for the care of new trees. A certified arborist in Mississippi can consult with you about the course of maintenance for each type of tree you plant on your property. They love sharing their expertise and skills with people planting new trees, and they can make the difference between trees struggling and trees that thrive.
Call MS Tree Trimming now for information on routine tree care in Mississippi – including tree trimming – for new trees and older trees. An arborists can determine the best plan for your trees! Locate your city in our service area here.